State struggles to wriggle out of poverty chart

In 2018, India happily lost the distinction of being the country with the largest number of poor. The number of people living in extreme poverty (less than $1.9 a day) has been falling fast. Presently 21.92 per cent of population lives below the poverty line.

FIR lodged against MLA Meghachandra

An FIR has been lodged at Lamlai police station against Wangkhem assembly constituency MLA K Meghachandra in connection with his alleged misconduct near 7/40 polling station on the polling day of Inner Manipur parliamentary constituency on April 18.

Three arrested for intimidating voters

Three youths have been arrested by Lamlai police on Sunday on the charge of unauthorised possession of gun and displaying the same to intimidate people of Chalou and Pungdongbam areas in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections for Inner Manipur Parliamentary Constituency as well as after votes were cast.

Congress releases plan on national security

Congress on Sunday released its plan on national security which emphasises on five key issues - assuming India's rightful place in global affairs, securing the neighbourhood, internal security, protecting people and strengthening capabilities.

Ballot system better option for democracy: MPP candidate

Y Jugindro, who contested the just concluded Lok Sabha election in Inner Manipur Parliamentary Constituency on Manipur People’s Party (MPP) ticket, has stated that use of ballot paper system in elections would give more meaning to democracy, considering instances of proxy voting, other electoral malpractices reported during voting on Thursday and widespread malfunctioning of the electronic voting machines (EVMs).

BJP agent petitions ECI for re-poll in 220 PSs

Election agent of BJP candidate in Outer Manipur parliamentary constituency for the 17th Lok Sabha election has approached the Election Commission of India (ECI) with the request for excluding votes cast in 220 polling stations in Senapati district during the first phase election from the counting process. In a written complaint lodged in this regard,

Drug traffickers from state held in Nagaland

Two Manipuri drug traffickers have been arrested along with 900 grams of brown sugar and four live rounds of ammunition in Khuzuma in Nagaland,

NE meet takes anti-CAB resolutions

Several civil society organisations of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura have joined hands together in organising The North East People’s Conference 2019 at City Convention Centre, Palace Compound here on Tuesday.

PM to campaign in state on Apr 7, Amit Apr 5

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is slated to visit the state on April 7 to begin the campaign of BJP in the state for election to the Outer and Inner Manipur Parliamentary Constituencies scheduled to be held on April 11 and 18 respectively.

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Not so friendly contest

THOUGH expression of low opinion against the rival candidates had been the common narratives in electoral politics, National People’s Party (NPP) legislator and deputy chief minister Yumnam Joykumar alleging that candidates fielded by BJP and NPF for the Outer Manipur Parliamentary Constituency have the backing of armed outfits is a serious charge.

NEDA revival and BJP’s Congress-mukt agenda

THOUGH BJP managed to resurrect the North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) and lend substance to its formation by bringing on board the alliance partners,

Modi factor to decide BJP’s fate

IT’S an established fact that electoral outcomes have been notoriously difficult to predict on account of vastly incongruent socio-political aspirations and differences in religious belief among the Indian voters.

2022 water vision at Centre’s mercy

HAVING endured shortage of potable water supply for the past many decades, citizens residing in Imphal are unlikely to feel or vocally express remorse that they would have to wait till year 2022 for the situation to improve.

Back to square one?

PROMINENT Naga civil societies deciding to forego the much anticipated consultative meeting with Centre’s interlocutor for Naga peace talks RN Ravi will not only pose a serious hurdle to efforts for ironing out all differences before sealing the final deal on the Naga political issue but also manifests that the Naga public are utterly disappointed over continuation of the dialogue process for a protracted period with no sign of any tangible solution in sight.

Toothless district councils!

CHAIRMEN of six Autonomous District Councils threatening to drag the government of Manipur to the court over alleged inaction to devolve power to the councils sums up the utter frustration of the grassroots level elected people’s representatives.

Will the exams be a smooth affair?

WITH cessation of the anti-CAB agitations, parents and students felt emancipated that conduct of the class X, XI and XII examinations will face no disruption.

Bill apprehension validated

BHARATIYA Janata Party chief Amit Shah’s assertion on Sunday that the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill will be one of its manifestoes for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections has validated that expression of strong suspicion by civil societies

Silencing the critics

Amid outcries against jailing of journalist Kishorechandra Wangkhem under the National Security Act and attempts to drive home the message that critics speak as and when some policy matters are not to the satisfaction of the public,

Time to talk sensibly, act swiftly

It’s hard to digest that chief minister N Biren continues to brand the mass protest against the Centre’s bid to pass the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in the parliament as a movement instigated by rival political parties.

NE relieved as Parliament ends in chaos

THOUGH disruption caused to normal chores tantamount to trampling the fundamental rights of the citizens, bandhs or strikes remain the only potent weapon for the dissented public to air grievances whenever the establishment deviates from expected line.

Lessons learnt from CAB

WITH the Rajya Sabha’s last session ending without passing the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, the northeast people could finally breathe with some relief. 

Undesired confusion over CAB movement

CIRCULATION of false rumour would be the last thing people of Manipur would expect at such a critical juncture when the state remains in the grip of high tension ever since the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 was passed by the Lok Sabha.

SC boost to ban bandh

WITH the Supreme Court, yet again, heavily censuring all agitations that cause disruptions to normal chores and public life along with issuing strong instruction to the government to imprison and extract monetary penalties from bandh/strike sponsors, it could be safely concluded that Manipur police will be facing more torrid times in case the apex court decree is to be executed in spirit and letter.

Changing dynamics of bandhs in Manipur

IT seems that the present regime is trying to drive home the message that those who do not fall in line with its scheme of things will be dealt with without any impunity under laws of the land.

Mob violence

AUDACITY of those who uploaded video clippings of the Tharoijam incident; and probably were part of the thrashing, implies that the mob was neither impressed with the law enforcement agencies nor undeterred by the fact that law of land will eventually catch up with them.

KNO threat to abrogate peace

WITH uncountable number of Kuki families yet to recover or are simply unwilling to forget the shocking experience of seeing their near and dear ones shot and bludgeoned mercilessly to death for no fault of theirs during the tumultuous Naga-Kuki clash in the 1990s, the Kuki National Organisation (KNO) president PS Haokip threatening to take up arms again during the Kuki Black Day observance speech at Churachandpur town was on expected lines.

Disgruntled foot soldiers

WHILE it would be outright presumptuous to foretell fresh strategies which the military action schemers of the Indian army might be adopting to sustain the counter-insurgency operation in the North East, it would not be totally out of context to speculate that the new tactics will be a blend of crackdowns marked by military precision and taking extreme precautions to avoid causing harm to civilians or immobilised members of outlawed armed organisations.

Hapless bureaucrats

SOME top officials doubting judicious implementation of the BJP government’s transfer and posting policy was on expected lines if one takes into account of the frequent issuance of orders for shifting assignments and job stations of MCS and IAS officers.

Framing ‘fearless’ commandos

REGARDLESS of the slight delay in complying with the Supreme Court order for investigation and registration of FIRs into allegations of fake encounter killings that took place in the state in the initial stage, the CBI submitting a series of reports and accusing security forces of questionable conduct suggests that the probe process is gathering pace.

Artificial shortage of fertilisers?

IMPROMPTU agitation by farmers against government’s failure to ensure them adequate supply of fertilisers sums up plight and pathetic condition of the food producers.

Essence of celebrating Manipuri Language Day

THOUGH its lyricism and precision might not yet have contributed anything substantial to the worlds of philosophy, science and arts in-spite of having an enviable history, it’s a matter of great pride that Manipuri is among the few Indian languages to be included in the 8th Schedule.

Endless challenges for Government

ENDING the record-breaking economic blockade in 2016-17 along the two lifelines of Manipur; enforced to denounce the previous government’s creation of seven new districts and which the blockade enforcers took as counteraction to the aspiration for integration of Naga-inhabited areas, was one of the success stories that marked the advent of the BJP-led coalition government in the state.

Bid to dilute ancestors’ patriotic zeal

THOUGH interpretations vary and its exposition inexplicable, freedom; be it of nations or individuals, is an unrivalled blessing and this intrinsic value had been the driving force for the antiquely armed Manipuri forefathers to dare to challenge the might of the globe-trotting British soldiers in the epochal Khongjom War of 1891.

Relevance of NRC in NE states

THOUGH controversy continues, albeit created by increasingly shrinking number of opposition leaders, the National Register of Citizens (NRC) published some days back in Assam has started to make those who matters most in other north-eastern states to stand up, feel the experience and mull over that this exercise might be the most effective mechanism to safeguard the native people from the impact of growing infiltration of both migrant workers and illegal immigrants.

Tightening noose around CBI’s neck

THOUGH the Supreme Court had on Friday directed the CBI director to appear before it and explain reason for the slow pace of investigation into the alleged extra-judicial killings in the state the probe agency is unlikely to come up with any firm commitment or dramatic revelations other than seek more time to carry on the investigation.

Tougher challenges ahead

CONTRARY to widespread speculation that the just concluded monsoon session of the Manipur Legislative Assembly might be a stormy one – both inside and outside the dome, in view of the various sensitive and contentious issues besieging the state, the two sittings passed off by and large in a cordial manner in comparison with the past sessions.

The greatest show on earth

IT’S no secret that Manipur have some of the most passionate football fans in the world. Though football and Manipur have been somewhat synonymous for the past many years, the craze for the beautiful game gets feverish pitch after every four years due to the Fifa World Cups.

We badly need open spaces

I often hear many people talk about the need to develop local parks in the valley instead of constructing unplanned community halls.

Thorny issues at the Government’s doorstep

Putting continuous efforts to remove the emotional and developmental gaps amongst various communities of the state, focusing on inclusive and harmonious development and implementing citizen-centric and corruption-free policies, to name a few, have been the hall-mark of the BJP-led government in Manipur.

SC keen to take final call on fake encounters

THE Supreme Court directing the CBI on Thursday to file final reports in four cases of alleged extra-judicial killings and fake encounters by the Army, Assam Rifles and police in Manipur drives home the message that the three-judge bench is keen to take a final call on the matter at the soonest possible even if the investigation into many other similar allegations drags on. That the apex court had also emphasised on active involvement of the National

Is protest against eviction drive justifiable?

SHUTDOWN enforced in Muslim populated areas on Tuesday in denunciation of the eviction drive carried out at Awaching area in Imphal East is the second such protests experienced this year against the government decision to either sanitise reserved forest areas or cleanse the river banks of unauthorised structures.

Toothless rights commission

THE Supreme Court of India directing greater involvement of the National Human Rights Commission in the on-going investigation into cases of alleged fake encounter killings in Manipur leaves no doubt that the apex court is determined to deliver justice to those who have been exterminated or are nursing physical and mental suffering due to excesses committed by security forces.

Ill-equipped to tackle fishy traders ?

IT’S a pity that in-spite of past incidences of food safety unit officials as well as NGO volunteers detecting, seizing and sealing food outlets for not complying with standard regulations, the government of Manipur is still depending on confirmation of result of fish samples collected for testing subsequent to detection of suspected formalin traces in imported fish.

Reaching out to CSOs over ILP stalemate

YET another assembly session is round the corner and this time too it is unlikely to be any different from the past sessions, at-least on the streets of the capital city and around fortress-like assembly complex as there are more than a handful of pending issues before the government.

Congress leaders’ take on GTV

CONGRESS leaders equating the ‘Go to Village’ (GTV) mission to an attempt by the BJP-led government to involve party loyalists, who suffered defeat in the assembly elections, in the governance is unlikely to impress those rural folks who are finally getting an inkling of what transparent governance is all about.

Firm resolve to tackle plastic menace inevitable

THE mounting garbage crisis in Imphal testifies that the government is literally moving the waste matter from point A to point B and wishing the problem will simply go away.

Yoga Day: Outlandish interpretation

IT is a matter of great pride for India that International Yoga Day is being adopted across the globe as one milestone marker of wellness. The celebration is an endorsement of yoga's universal acceptance and appeal.

Narco-politics soiling democratic ethos

THE spurt in drug smuggling, frequent recovery of huge quantities of narcotic drugs and arrest of peddlers in the state all sum up seriousness of the drug menace to the society.

Students bearing brunt of agitations

IT is disheartening to learn that the on-going agitation in Manipur University and the cease work strike of government employees is threatening to ruin the precious career of thousands of students of Manipur.

Unity wall blocking Naga unification process

THE NSCN-K’s ambush on 6 Dogra Regiment in Chandel district in 2015 and the latest incident of attacking a patrol party of the Assam Rifles in Mon district of Nagaland are not expected to pose any hurdle to the Naga peace talks, but the demands of the NSCN-IM for integration of all contagious Naga areas, remain tricky as ever.

Post-flood situation: Testing time for Govt

EXCESSIVE rainfall and flooding normally associated with the monsoons compared with acute scarcity of potable water during the short dry spells have been two starkly contrasting characteristics of Manipur for the past many years.

Happy ending to hospital bickering

THE hue and cry raised by people of Khundrakpam assembly constituency and adjoining areas against the plan to relocate the site of the proposed Imphal east district hospital from Sagolmang Khewa to Kyamgei

Secularism under threat!

THOUGH the opposition parties, the Congress in particular, have been treading cautiously not to upset the guardians of law, it is gradually getting crystal clear that the deaths of eleven protesters during the recent violent agitation by Dalits against dilution of constitutional provisions for their safeguard has provided the firepower to non-BJP political organisations; excluding the NDA allies, to project the BJP-headed Union government as anti-thesis to the secular ethos of India.

Rage over shifting of district hospital

REGARDLESS of the clarification issued by the health and family welfare minister L Jayantakumar that shifting of construction site of the Imphal East district hospital from Sagolmang to Kyamgei is due to lack of consensus over land acquisition, people of Khundrakpam assembly constituency under which Sagolmang falls, have every reason to suspect that change of site is a political plot.

Finally, focus on plight of rural poor

THE government of Manipur’s plan for reaching out to the rural folks in the valley districts under the catchy ‘Go to the Village’ slogan, which is set for kick-off from the first week of May, is yet another testimony about the government’s efforts towards bringing uniform development in the state.

Political ruckus amid uncertain future

LIKE everywhere else, people of Manipur too yearn for peace, prosperity, justice, welfare, liberty, safety, etc. etc., though various issues gripping the state at the juncture and radical differences amongst the ethnic groups towards how those goals can best be achieved clearly indicate that most of these desires will remain elusive.

Conceiving the Concept of Street Park at Khwairamband Keithel

Come November and we have the biggest tourism extravaganza – the Sangai Manipur Tourism Festival 2017 – happening in our midst, with or without the desired charm and flavour.

Will air ambulance service ever take off?

THOUGH it is heartening to hear chief minister N Biren Singh announcing to launch special social security scheme for widows and differently-abled persons this month and formally implement the same by December 3, the air ambulance initiative of the government appears to be making not much progress if health minister L Jayantakumar’s remarks on Tuesday is any indication.

Lethargic approach to tourist circuit projects

NON-completion of the land acquisition formalities related to tourist circuit projects at Ningthoukhong, Phubala and Moreh areas is without any doubt anti-thesis to claims that the state government is seriously focused to tap the vast potential in the tourism sector.

Mega dams’ impact on native people

Among others, undermining the need to consult the local populace prior to undertaking major construction projects could be the genesis for objections raised against mega dams in the north eastern states at the eastern Himalayan people’s convention, which was organised on Wednesday, as economically underdeveloped communities in the region are of the belief that such massive structures demonstrate both brilliance and arrogance of human ingenuity.

Adding fuel to fire

THE Kangleipak Students’ Association (KSA) alleging excesses by the state police, in the latter’s pursuit to hunt down members of the students’ organisation for orchestrating the on-going movement to demand reservation of eight assembly constituencies for indigenous people, has the potential to snowball into a major issue in case the state authorities do not exercise restraint or convince the agitation spearhead to come to the negotiating table.

Job promise in scarce Manipur

It is over three months since formation of the BJP-led coalition government but minister Thongam Biswajit still harping on the party’s pre-poll promises to revive sick industrial units, develop industrial infrastructure and give emphasis on skill development to generate sufficient employment opportunity to the youth of Manipur does not justify the mandate or expectation of the people that change of government will usher in an era of over-all progress.

Perforated roads and smart city bid

REGARDLESS of the appreciable thrust being given to improve condition of the national highways and proper maintenance of inter-district routes, state authorities remaining seemingly unmindful of the importance for repairing the pothole dotted roads in and around Imphal is akin to projecting the capital city in poor light and technically surrendering from the race to secure a berth for Imphal among the state capitals for the remaining few slots of the centrally-funded smart city project.

Supreme judgment

FOR those hundreds of families, who have lost their near and dear ones at the hands of both central and state forces or have been involuntarily disappeared, the landmark decision by the Supreme Court on Friday to order investigation into 95 cases of alleged fake encounter killings in Manipur will be nothing less than virtually dismantling the AFSPA immunity shield of the military personnel.

Cleansing Nambul river to preserve state’s history

On account of the latest campaign to save the Loktak Lake from human ignorance giving emphasis on collecting waste materials from the confluence of the Nambul river, before the polluting substances reach the water body, the initiative appears to be realistic.

Unnatural growth in population

LEAVING aside the normally congested market places, casual glances around residential pockets of the twin capital districts will give a clear picture about rapid change in the demography.

Ringui boost to afforestation objectives

TO be honest, decision taken by the villagers of Ringui in Ukhrul district to designate specific forest areas as conservation sites as well as to ban use of toxic chemicals for agricultural purpose would be more effective in maintaining ecological balance than the declaration by forests and environment minister Th Shyamkumar that the forest department will focus on successful growth of the tree saplings planted on the occasion of ‘Van Mahotsav’ on July 7.

Will GST face lift Manipur?

FOLLOWING up on its promise to transform Manipur into a thriving, developed state, the BJP-led coalition government has introduced hordes of schemes in its first 100 days in office in addition to keeping firm focus on providing efficient and transparent administration at all levels and as such there is no reason for chief minister N Biren to whine over the state’s poor financial position for streamlining the revenue collection mechanism is bound to have healthy impact to the local economy.

Lessons from monsoon havoc

TORRENTIAL rainfall for few hours leading to sudden rise in the level of water of major rivers flowing through the two capital districts and embankments of almost all rivers getting breached at different points are clear indications about serious ecological imbalance in the state.

Political rhetoric and 100-day programme

GOING by the spree of launching projects and announcing welfare schemes under its 100 days programme coupled with the Union government assuring that fund shortage will not be an issue, Manipur is destined to witness positive changes in the coming years in case those responsible for overseeing implementation of the developmental projects could maintain transparency and work judiciously.

NH-37 back in the limelight

WITH oil tanker drivers deciding to ply on the Imphal-Jiribam section of National Highway-37, the highway stretch is set to hit the news headlines more frequently from now on, in case authorities concerned could not ensure proper maintenance of the route.

Miscreants on the prowl

REGARDLESS of the government giving assurances to transport operators for making the national highways safe the latest incident of unknown gunmen attacking an oil tanker in a Kangpokpi district area suggests that miscreants continue to prowl the lifeline and could launch attack anytime, anywhere.

One step forward, two steps back?

CHIEF minister N Biren’s assurance to the delegation of Mao-based civil societies and students’ organisations for bringing an early settlement to the latest incident of Angami people from neighbouring Nagaland disturbing movement of vehicles and transportation of goods along the Imphal-Dimapur section of the national highway as well as alleged encroachment on the land of the Mao people, is unlikely to fructify through the conventional method of negotiation or exerting pressure upon the governments of India and Nagaland.

Homely homes for older people

Owing to rapid advancement in medical science,the most significant demographic trend has been the marked increase in human lifespans and the citizens enjoying longer spells of good health though for some longevity in the lifespan also means having to survive with longer spells in poor health.

Still ‘Looking East’?

WITH the exception of political personalities continuing to play the Act East Policy cards whenever they come for official visits to the north-eastern states, Manipur in particular, there seems to be hardly any signs of the ambitious plan materialising any sooner on account of absence of even basic infrastructure for transportation of goods, not to speak of managing increased volume of transaction.

Irreparably damaged?

ALONG with continuous report about landslides, earth cracks and flash floods making life miserable for many in both the hill and valley areas of Manipur, the degree of destruction and threat posed to human due by natural calamities leaves no doubt that irreparable damage has been caused to the environment.

Cash windfall for rote learning?

COMPARED to none from the many government schools being able to produce even a single student among the top-25 rank holders in the recently declared result of the HSLC 2017 examination, private educational institutions not only hogging the limelight for the past many years but also handing out eye-boggling cash incentives and floating attractive schemes to lure meritorious students speak volume about the intensity of competition amongst the latter schools.

Boosting sportspersons’ morale

YOUTH Affairs and Sports Minister Letpao Haokip announcing that the daily allowances given to sportspersons of all disciplines, who represent the state at national level competitions, will be increased to Rs 1000 from the existing Rs 200, is undoubtedly one of the most significant and commendable decisions ever taken by any government.

Manipur’s pride

All four top-three position holders of the HSLC 2017 examination setting different professional targets but the same quartet having unequivocally firm resolutions to contribute their mite in the state’s overall development and betterment of the citizens is something to cheer about.

Tobacco threat to society

RAIDS being conducted to enforce the ban on consumption and sale of tobacco products coupled with continuous seizure of large quantities of the health hazardous items suggest that there has been no decline in the number of users of tobacco items in Manipur.

Success with a message

THERE might be many others whose tales of experiencing extreme hardships in preparing for the higher secondary examination have gone untold unlike that of commerce stream fourth position holder Thounaojam Loyangamba and Chinglemba Chingtham, who secured the 11th position in science stream.

Campaign to protect rogue riders

‘NO helmet, no petrol’ campaign being undertaken by the police department, with the traffic control police spearheading the drive, reflects not only apparent lack of awareness among the state masses about road safety and traffic regulations but defiance of the safety norms wilfully, particularly by the youngsters who are seen zipping across the streets on their two-wheelers.

Justice and the juvenile

Consent of the Juvenile Justice Board on Wednesday for conducting ossification test on one accused in the infamous Phaknung gang-rape case while holding his five other ‘partners in crime’ as juvenile might not go down well with various civil society organisations which have been demanding that age of all those involved in the beastly act should be determined through the standard existing procedures.

Social harmony inevitable for tourism development

POOR infrastructure for industrial development in Manipur has virtually left tourism among the few viable options to generate invaluable income and improve the state’s economy.

Sops to counter insurgency in Manipur

BY all aspects, approval given by the state cabinet on Sunday to the revised surrender policy and increasing the monthly stipend of surrendered militants from Rs 4000 to Rs 8000 is intended to solve the protracted problem of insurgency in Manipur for ushering in peace in the state. 

Thriving timber smuggling

AMID commonly accepted view that over the last several years, timber smuggling in large volumes from the interior areas of Manipur has been consequently causing serious economic losses and extensive environmental damage, forest and environment minister Th Shyamkumar carrying out vigorous drives to curb unauthorised transportation of forest produce deserves appreciation and support by every stakeholder.

Crackdown on corrupt elements

RIDING on the wave of popularity of the demonetisation drive, that is believed to have paid electoral dividends in four out of five states which went to the polls in February-March this year, the Narendra Modi government has been focusing to end the corruption culture as is evident from anti-graft agencies coming down hard on corrupt elements through nationwide crackdown.

Festival of hope

AFTER years of distrust and strong undercurrent of ill-will against one another, the annual Shirui Lily festival in Ukhrul district, which has been raised to a state level extravaganza of cultural activities and tourism promotional event, is expected to be the much-needed platform for not only restoring the age-old relationships amongst the indigenous communities of Manipur but also building friendships with Nagaland.

Thriving oil syndicate

THE raid conducted at the storehouse of a brick field on Thursday resulting in the seizure of large potable containers and chemicals used as colouring agents could just be the proverbial tip of the iceberg about existence of a flourishing 'oil syndicate' in the state.

Ccpur MoU no solution to ILP issue?

 BY signing the memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the JAC-AATB, Churachandpur on Wednesday, the BJP-led coalition government could claim the pact as yet another positive development towards bridging the palpable trust deficit between the hill and valley people.

Nagaland CM’s friendly gesture

REGARDLESS of mixed reactions generation from different quarters, Nagaland chief minister Shurhozelie Liezietsu’s first visit to Imphal on Tuesday gives a hint that change in government or more particularly rule by like-minded political parties could pave the way for improving inter-state relations.

Perils of Act East Policy to Manipur

THERE may be many native entrepreneurs, who are eager to explore the opportunities of striking trade relationships with their counterparts in south-east Asian countries under India’s Act East Policy.

Forest banditry in Jiribam

APART from the illegal but thriving trade on forest products, the on-going visit by the forest and environment minister Th Shyamkumar in Jiribam district is likely to unearth various administrative anomalies and serve as an opportunity to understanding the plight of citizens in the border district.

Erasing memories of the dark-age

Regardless of sporadic complaints about erratic power supply, mainly due to technical factors such as outage and replacement of transformers and power line stringing works, the overall power supply situation in Manipur has improved appreciably ever since the pre-paid billing system was introduced in the last term of 15 years’ tenure of the then Congress government.

Modi factor in state’s prosperity

Though there is no official announcement yet on common minimum programme, which has been the hallmark for any coalition government formed so far, at the national or state level, the new administration headed by chief minister Nongthombam Biren seems to be wasting no time in acting on the promises made in the run-up to the state assembly elections.

Mapithel dam tangle

For the last many years rehabilitation and resettlement of families affected or displaced by the construction of Thoubal multi-purpose project remain the most vital and sensitive issue.

Attacking Manipur’s lifelines

THE second attack by gunmen on convoys of petroleum product carriers in less than a fortnight along the National Highway-2, once again brings to the fore that the transport workers not only have to navigate through the potholes-riddled stretches of the so-called national highways but also that these lifelines have literally been graveyards for the driver and their assistants.

Quest to cheer up mood of hill people

AFTER his epochal visit to Ukhrul district on April 11, during which Rs 201-crore development package was announced, chief minister Nongthombam Biren seems to be striking the right chord in winning the hearts of the hill people and regaining their trust upon the new government, if one takes into account of the overwhelming response generated from the people of Kangpokpi district on Wednesday.

Political vendetta for public welfare

TO the political detractors, the Ministry of tribal affairs’ move for instituting investigations to establish whether or not funds allocated for various welfare projects of the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes communities were judiciously utilised, could ostensibly be not only to uncover subversive activities, if any, but also to actually harass and undermine those with differing views.

Aayog vision and challenges for Manipur

THOUGH the government think tank NITI Aayog’s vision for convenient subsistence to all the citizens by ensuring them houses with proper toilets, vehicles, regular power supply and even the luxury of living in air conditioned homes with digital connectivity in 15 years is worth appreciating, such a long term vision would be akin to mocking those who are currently enduring a wretched lifestyle.

Benefits of Centre-state harmony

TAKING into account of the sops being doled out by the Union government to Manipur regularly after the BJP formed a coalition government, it could be safely concluded that the Centre-state relations improve significantly when the same political party holds the rein of power.

AFSPA cruelties under scanner

THE on-going hearing in the Supreme Court over alleged extra-judicial executions in Manipur, involving both Central and state security personnel, seems to be heading towards a face-off and blame-game between the army authorities and the state government if the army’s contention, that the judicial probes conducted into rape and murder charges against its personnel in Manipur were biased and slanted against them due to local factors, could be corroborated.

Doomsday for trigger happy men in uniform!

THE directive issued by the Supreme Court for investigation into three cases of rape and murder in 2003 in Manipur, out of 1528 complaints the court has received in connection with excesses allegedly committed by the security forces operating in the state, will definitely compel the personnel of armed forces to think twice before they pull the trigger next time.

Rumblings within coalition partners

WITH the exception of BJP comfortably winning the assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, as well as the Congress regaining power in Punjab, the hung mandates in Goa and Manipur had offset some intense post-poll politicking. Though the Goa political cauldron appears to have cooled down with BJP eventually managing to cobble up a majority, formation of the BJP-led coalition government in Manipur is apparently far from achieving the goal of political stability if the resignation letter tendered by health and family welfare minister L Jayantakumar is of any indication.

Tough days ahead for Biren government

NO doubt, chief minister N Biren and his ministerial colleagues were accorded hearty welcome throughout their journey, starting from the fringe villages till the Ukhrul district headquarters on Tuesday.

Test on sincerity of enforcing agents

THE Supreme Court ordering closure of liquor shops along national and state highways followed by the Lok Sabha passing the draft legislation to amend the Motor Vehicles Act merit appreciation by all selfless and right thinking citizens as both are aimed at checking loss of precious lives.

Bogus assurances on ambiguous agreement?

NON-disclosure of contents of the framework agreement, which the Union government signed with the NSCN-IM in August 2015, remains a headache for the Central leaders on account of posers being raised from various quarters on the rationale for keeping the details under wrap while in Manipur obscurity of the pact continues to create ripples.

Question leak and quality education

IF at all education minister Th Radheshyam’s suspicion about involvement of ‘inside hands’ in the leakage of physics paper question of the on-going higher secondary examination turns out to be true, then the evolving situation could anti-thesis to concerted efforts by civil societies and students’ organisations to promote quality education in Manipur.

NGOs under ministry scanner

NOTWITHSTANDING the official record of 828 NGOs operating in Manipur, out of the country’s total of 60,000, the tiny state lagging behind in varied aspects suggests that many of them have not been dispensing their responsibilities in the right earnest.

Suspicion root cause of Keithel chaos!

THE current bickering between licence holders and women street vendors over vending space in Khwairamband Keithel betrays uniqueness of the market place as the epicentre of many epochal events that consequently attributed to shaping the history of Manipur.

Controversies over using EVMs

IN the aftermath of the BJP sweeping to power in the recent Uttar Pradesh assembly elections, political organisations, particularly those that bit the dust in the polls, have been raising posers over reliability of the electronic voting machine (EVM) used while at the same time suggesting that the Election Commission of India should revert to the traditional system of using ballot papers.

Digital mode of payment and Manipur

THOUGH use of cash or currency is still the easiest and most-practiced form of transactions, Prime Minister Narendra Modi seems to be determined to transform the mode of payment through the digital system in his endeavour to put an effective curb on corruption.

Bold moves to check corruption

AMONG other recent developments, chief minister Nongthombam Biren Singh allowing visitors to carry mobile phones inside government offices in order to empower the public to use them as a tool for recording any corrupt practices as well as consumer affairs, food and public distribution (CAF & PD) minister Karam Shyam declaring that the public distribution system will be streamlined are certain to draw the attention of the state’s masses, who for long have been longing for a system through which qualified and deserving persons are not deprived of their rights.

Bold moves to settle niggling issues

AFTER the success in convincing the United Naga Council to lift the protracted economic blockade imposed along the two national highways in Manipur sector, the BJP led coalition government seems equally determined to bring an amicable end to the impasse over the passing of three bills, which the previous Congress regime initiated to uphold interest of the indigenous communities settling in the state.

Scourge of unfair means in exams

AMID campaigns by many students’ organisations to streamline the education system and bring an end to the culture of using unfair means during examinations conducted by state or central boards/councils, reports published in most of the state dailies about an invigilator assisting students appearing in the on-going HSLC examination at a private centre in Wangoi to take recourse to unfair means tantamount to undermining the collective efforts for eradicating the malaise of mass copying.

District cauldron

WITH the March 19 tripartite talk in Senapati district headquarters resulting in the Government of Manipur’s representatives agreeing to consult all stakeholders as part of the fresh process to redress grievances of the United Naga Council (UNC) in the aftermath of the previous Congress regime creating seven new districts, it would be premature to construe at this juncture that the record-breaking economic blockade has ended for good.

Translating assurances into action

THE new BJP-headed coalition government has on Sunday finally managed to end the record-breaking economic blockade, which the United Naga Council (UNC) had imposed since November 1, 2016 to protest decision of the then Congress government to create seven new districts.

Sleeping with the Enemy!

REGARDLESS of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders announcing during their campaigning for the just concluded Manipur Legislative Assembly elections that the saffron party will not have pre-alliance with the Naga People’s Front (NPF), in addition to stammering when posers were raised on whether it would strike post-poll understanding with the Nagaland-headquartered political organisation, the four NPF MLAs have eventually turned out to be important players in the formation of the new BJP government in Manipur.

Finer points missed by campaign leaders

OF the many issues raked up by political parties during the exhaustive campaigning for the 11th Manipur Legislative Assembly elections, the framework agreement signed in August 2015 between the Centre and the NSCN-IM, apprehension over the territorial integrity of Manipur in the aftermath of the Indo-Naga peace parleys, the recording-breaking economic blockade along the two national highways in Manipur and creation of seven new districts were the dominant ones.

Anxious wait for poll verdict

MANIPUR could be on the verge of turning over a new leaf in its political history on Saturday when counting of votes cast in the two phases of assembly elections on March 4 and 8 for the 60 assembly seats takes place.

International women’s day

THE phrase, ‘The hand that rocks the cradle rules the nation’, aptly defines importance of the mother, their roles and influence upon the children, who are the future pillars of the nation.

Ultimate test for CEO

THOUGH the public address system fell silent and the dust from the over two month-long electioneering settled as parties wrapped up their campaign for the second and final phase of assembly polls in Manipur on Monday, the March 8 voting will be the ultimate test for the chief electoral officer and his poll-management teams as most of the polling stations in the second phase of the crucial adult franchise are located in the interior pockets of hill districts.

Dissecting healthy turn out of voters

THOUGH the run-up to the 11th Manipur Legislative Assembly elections was marred by stray incidents of clashes amongst supporters of rival candidates and opening fire at houses and political camps set up at the locality level, especially in assembly constituencies located in the rural areas, the first phase polling ended on Saturday without any major election-related incidents with a healthy turn-out of 84 per cent of the voters exercising their franchise.

Election of the rich and powerful

MANIPUR goes to the polls for the eleventh time to elect a new ‘house of the people’ in two phases on March 4 and 8. Though the past three assembly elections had relatively been an easy outing for the Indian National Congress, this time around the outcome is likely to be different owing to sharp polarisation of the voters in the hills and valley assembly constituencies as the democratic duel is being fought on various sensitive issues.

Rumbling overframework agreement

THOUGH the contents of the framework agreement have not yet been put in the public domain, which is eventually leading to differing perceptions amongst the various stakeholders, the pact between the Government of India and the NSCN-IM signed on August 3, 2015 had brought glimmers of hope amongst the Naga populace.

Acrimonious battle for power

WITH campaigning by different political parties getting intensified and the blame-game involving prominent figures, in the run-up to the March 4 and 8 assembly polls, nearing its crescendo there is little to doubt that the race for the 11th Manipur Legislative Assembly will be one of the most bitterly contested battles ever witnessed in the state.

Testing time for Ibobi & Co

One development which even the politically naïve person could have noticed in the ceaseless blame-game between leaders of the Congress party and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), in the run-up to the state assembly elections, is the growing discord between the Central and the state governments.

Burglarising education

AMID campaigns to make the education sector ‘disturbance-free zone’, reports of private educational institutions in Kangpokpi district deciding to remain shut for an undisclosed period over monetary demand served by armed organisations is nothing less than an anti-thesis to the efforts for ensuring that the future pillars of the society are not deprived of their fundamental rights.

Ambushing democracy

TWO state security force personnel sustaining injuries when unknown militants ambushed the security convoy of deputy chief minister Gaikhangam on Wednesday, when the latter was en-route to his native village in Tamenglong district, suggests that the Manipur assembly elections will be far from being a peaceful, not to speak of being a free and fair democratic exercise as envisioned the Election Commission of India.

Stage set for decisive polls

WITH the last date for withdrawal of candidature ending on Monday and 200 candidates remaining in the fray for the 11th Manipur Legislative Assembly elections, the stage is finally set for the crucial polls, which many consider will see a bitter contest amongst established political parties as well as newly floated entities.

Fractious agreement!

UNION home minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday declaring that the framework agreement, signed in August 2015 between the Centre and the NSCN-IM, will not affect the territorial integrity of Manipur might have allayed apprehension of certain section of the society but his flat rejection that contents of the pact have nothing to do with redrawing the map of Manipur or other north eastern states, is likely to stir the proverbial hornet’s nest as the same agreement is being heralded as a path-breaking truce towards solving the vexed Naga political issue.

Will the Modi factor work in Manipur?

MANY central leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party rushing in to Manipur to join the election campaign for party candidates clearly testifies that the political party, which is holding the reins of power at the centre, is determined to end the three-term rule of the Congress government and launch its innings in the eastern most state of the country.

Zeliang sacrificed for Naga machismo?

NAGALAND chief minister TR Zeliang dashing to New Delhi to appraise the Central government leaders on the fast changing socio-political scenario in the hilly state, which has been on the boil in the wake of massive protests against reservation for women in local body elections, seems to be aimed at driving home the message to all, including his colleagues in the Naga People’s Party (NPF), that he will not give up the coveted post without a fight, if at all it necessitates the involvement/intervention by the Centre.

Why no braying for NH-37 spruce-up?

FOR the past few days disparaging comments by political leaders against their opponents have been occupying maximum space of state dailies in the run-up to the two-phase 11th Manipur Legislative Assembly elections, for which votes would be cast on March 4 and 8.

Reopening Pandora’s Box?

WITH the District & Sessions Judge, Imphal West allowing a plea by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Imphal branch to launch fresh probe into the killing of Chungkham Sanjit Singh of Khurai Sajor Leikai, a surrendered member of an insurgent group, in firing by police commandos on July 23, 2009, it must have given a great sense of relief to mother of the slain youth.

Lesson from down south

EVEN as political parties, which are eyeing to form the next government in Manipur, continue to spar against each other over multiple issues afflicting the scenically blessed but politically nondescript state, from national perspective, down south in Tamil Nadu the ruling AIADMK general secretary VK Sasikala’s aspiration to become the chief minister has been abruptly ended after the Supreme Court on Tuesday restored her conviction in a disproportionate assets case.

State polls and move to ban UNC

With the Central government not confident that current economic blockade by United Naga Council will allow peaceful elections in Manipur and the state government apparently peeved by the dogged resistance of the agitating council to lift the siege on the national highways, the latter’s decision to process for declaring UNC as an unlawful organisation was on expected line.

Women reservation cauldron in Nagaland

SIMILAR to the role being played by the womenfolk of Manipur, women’s organisations in Nagaland spearheaded by the influential Naga Mothers’ Association (NMA) have been fighting social evils and serving as agents of peace for years.

Nagaland unrest and Manipur polls

IN view of the United Naga Council fiercely opposing granting of district status to Kuki dominated Kangpokpi and the agitating council having cordial relationship with the Naga People’s Front (NPF); the Kuki Inpi Kangpokpi District’s decision of imposing restrictions on political activities of the NPF, in endorsement and support of the boycott call given by the JAC Sadar Hills, is on expected line for the Kuki community must be deeply hurt by UNC’s vociferous protest and protracted economic blockade over the issue of creating seven new districts.

BLOCKADE: Ripe menu for poll campaign

 THE emergency meeting of Presidential Council of the United Naga Council (UNC) convened Tuesday deciding to persevere with the on-going indefinite economic blockade, ban on national projects and picketing of government offices in Naga inhabited areas followed by the state’s home department coming up with a clarification that the UNC’s stand to sustain the agitation is against the spirit of an agreement reached in the February 3 meeting in New Delhi are cause for concern and great confusion to the public.

New blockade record in sight

With the agitating United Naga Council’s presidential council meeting held on Tuesday in Senapati district headquarters deciding to continue with the on-going economic blockade along the two national highways that connect Manipur with other parts of the country, the common people in this land-locked state are likely to witness creation of yet another unwanted record in the form of the current highway siege surpassing the 120 days of throttling supplies of essential goods into the state in year 2011.

Festival of political stunt artistes

IN the context of established politicians as well as political greenhorns venting angst against their parent organisations for various reasons, particularly on being denied the chance to contest the forthcoming assembly polls under a particular party, but not hesitating to join other political set-up in the pursuit to explore their political future, the run up to one of the most crucial elections in Manipur is gradually transforming into a festival of stunt artistes.

Indian elections and money power

WITH the Congress party too announcing its candidates for the forthcoming Manipur Legislative Assembly election and the BJP, which is emerging as the ruling party’s main rival, likely to soon come out with its full list; campaigning for the election ‘festival’ is all set to reach a feverish pitch after a brief lull in the last few days owing to indecision on the part of the party leaders to finalise their respective nominees.

The Manipur triangle

MANY would be hoping that the February 3 tripartite talks in New Delhi will bring an end to the protracted economic blockade as the siege on the two lifelines of Manipur has not only been causing immense hardships to the common people but also has the potential to heighten communal tension in the multi-ethic society.

Central sops and restive NE

WITH the exception of Assam, where the impact of secessionist movement seems to be negligible, thereby facilitating the largest state in the north east to make steady progress in terms of economic development, most of the other states in the region either continue to be plagued by insurgency or are struggling to get back on the track after years of unrest.

Plentiful petrol inblack market

APART from the common people forced to stand in serpentine queues in front of fuel outlets to get a few litres of petrol, there have been reports about steps taken by both the government and the Indian Oil Corporation to maintain supplies of petroleum products to economic blockade-hit Manipur resulting in shortage of petrol, diesel and cooking gas in two particular states - Tripura and Mizoram.

No takers for Mahatma, many for ‘Gandhi’

LIKE in the past many decades, functions are being held across the nation to remember Mahatma Gandhi, the globally acclaimed icon of peace and religious tolerance, on his death anniversary, even though incidents cropping up every now and then, and issues afflicting the Manipur society at the juncture seem to have betrayed the principles, which the ‘apostle of peace’ and ‘harbinger of equality’ had propagated.

Licence to act responsibly

WITH thousands of youth attaining the age to cast their votes in the ensuing state assembly election there is bound to be subsequent increase in the number of people seeking to possess driving licence.

Challenges for election authority

DIFFERENT events being organised by the office of Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), under the guidance of the Election Commission of India, to make the people aware of the sanctity of democratic institutions and principles could be construed as determination of the authorities overseeing conduct of Indian elections to cleanse the system of electoral politics.

Drivers exposed to risk

THOUGH the economic blockade being imposed on the two lifelines is hurtling towards the three-month mark, there is hardly any change in the storyline as leaders of the Central and the state governments continue to spar over who should be held responsible for the hardships caused to the public and transport operators remain soft targets for invisible elements, who are hell-bent on creating animosity amongst the indigenous communities .

Everything is fair in politics!

TAKING into account of senior politicians like Y Erabot and N Biren, to relatively newcomers in the political scenario such as Kh Joykisan, Nemcha Kipgen and Vungzagin Valte shifting loyalties from their parent parties for one reason or another, politicians seem to be trying to drive home the point as well as justify that there is no reason to feel embarrassed for abandoning the organisation, which he/she had been projecting as the best, if change in tactics would be beneficial, personally or to people of the constituencies that they represent.


Magicians at their best

THE protracted economic blockade being imposed on the two lifelines of Manipur and the ensuing Manipur Legislative Assembly election seem to be the right concoction for astute individuals with political ambition as well as established politicians to pull out their best tricks, just to keep the state masses spellbound.

Sour in centre-state relations?

IT would not be wrong to assume that the continuous sparring between leaders of the Congress government in Manipur and the Union government headed by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over the protracted imposition of economic blockade has exposed souring relations between the Centre and the state.

Ill-treatment of sportspersons

FOR long sportspersons have been the saving grace for a restive state like Manipur and as such they deserve to get proper attention of the government in ensuring that the athletes get the best facility to hone their skills as well as accommodation and food supplements.

Tough talks, insipid measures

Amid the tempestuous mud-slinging involving Congress and BJP leaders, over who actually should make the first move for lifting the on-going economic blockade being enforced on the two lifelines of Manipur, reports about Union home minister Rajnath Singh meeting chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh at the national capital as well as advising Ibobi’s Nagaland counterpart TR Zeliang could be viewed as the Union government eventually acknowledging that Nagaland too could play a pivotal role in restoring normal transportation of essential goods to neighbouring Manipur.

Restive Manipur

Unlike those residing in Manipur, who have for long been longing to experience the true joy of living with calm, peace and tranquillity, people settled in disturbance-free states and cities have all the opportunities to compete with their global counter-parts in diverse fields as is evident from youths of Manipur leaving the strife-torn state in pursuit of higher education.

Significance of observing fuel conservation month

WITH limited sources of natural energy it will be wishful thinking that people of Manipur will not be affected by the global trend of rapid exhaustion of stock of conventional energy reserves.

Back to square one

RATHER than shouldering the responsibility and put in collective efforts to end the protracted economic blockade so that inconveniences being endured by the people of Manipur are eased, the siege laid on the two lifelines of Manipur seem to be the right ingredient for leaders of rival political organisations, particularly the ruling Congress and the BJP, to outdo each other in trading charges in the run up to the ensuing state assembly election.

Plight of Nagaland women

TAKING into account events unfolding in neighbouring Nagaland since announcement to conduct election to the urban local bodies, it needs no reminding that the objections raised against reservation of seats for women has brought direct confrontation between male-centric civil societies and tribe organisations with the state government in addition to ignoring plight of the women.

Omnipotent force enforcing blockade ?

IF the attack on the convoy of goods laden vehicles at Khumji village near Noney town had anything to do with the on-going economic blockade along the two national highways in Manipur sector, then the current stir is likely to create an undesired record of being the longest siege laid on the lifelines.

Manipur’s pride,neighbour’s envy

 National Youth Day, celebrated every year on January 12, and National Sports Day held on August 29 are two events which emphasise that youths are the most important asset of the country and that the nation’s future lies in their hands and activities.

Niggling issues devaluing human resource

 LANDLOCKED Manipur might be the only state where unwanted issues and incidents persist throughout the year.

Unreliable transporters

EVEN as reports have been published that one of the factors for the shortage of petroleum products in economic blockade-hit Manipur is due to the Indian Oil Corporation authority’s inability to utilise the service of maximum number of oil tankers ..............

Effective monitoring inevitable for a purposeful election

Notwithstanding varied dos and don’ts notified for the political organisations and their agents by the Election Commission of India in connection with the ensuing assembly polls, 

Time to trash tough postures

BY dismissing the United Naga Council’s denial that there is no nexus between the civil society organisation and the armed NSCN-IM, deputy chief minister and home in-charge Gaikhangam has yet again affirmed the stand of the Government of Manipur 

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