Tribal Martyrs Memorial honkhiak in om ta

31st Aug, 2015 ni a Singtangmite dinmun dengdelsak ding Bill 3te deihlouhna ziak leh gam leh nam humbit ding a kisa mi nautang poikhoihlou mi 9 si te theihgigena Suangphuh leh Martyrs Park honkhiakna tuni 31st Aug, 2018 in Mata Dam ah om hi. Hiai hun ah teltuam chih omlou in Lamka khosung leh a kim a kiang ban ah gamdang apan in heutu tuamtuam chialkhawm hi a, Salpha zahtakna in tamtak in uap uhi.

Hiai hun ah, Martyrs Park honkhiakna a dandan in nei uhi. Amasa in main gate honna om a, tua zoh in left leh right pavement, a zom in left leh right Pond honna om a, MOU Memorial honna JAC-AATB Convenor Pu Mangchinkhup in nei hi. Tuazoh in, ama'n, Anti-tribal bills 3 te nangzou i hihdan gen in Govt toh MOU thukimna tungtang hilhchetna bawl in khual leh tual a hong paikhawmte vaidawnna thu gen hi.

Martyrs te theihgige na suangphuh, ZORO GHQ President Pu R. Sangkawia in honkhiakna a neihkhit in, Salphate zahna Gun Salute leh Minute of Silence zat in om hi. Mizogam lam a unau te'n ngaihnatna leh awlmohtak a hong uap ziak un, hiai hun piching suaksak semsem a kipahhuai mahmah hi.

Heutu tamzaw in, mailam hun a ei singtangmite kipumkhat zawsem a lungkhat a luangkhawm in Pathian belle, hiaisang a nakzawsem a i lohchinna uh muhtheih tampi omding ahih ban ah, kim leh kiang in hon nawkzoulou ding ahihdan uh gen chiat uhi.

Ban ah, Singngat ah leng Martyrs Hall bawlding ahihthu leng gen ahi a, tua Martyrs Park leng bawlzomtouh a zohsiangpah lam et thu gen in om hi.

Reports by Siam Tonsing for Zogam.com


Speech delivered by Pu H. Mangchinkhup,
Chief Convenor, Joint Action Committee Against Anti-Tribal Bills at the Unveiling Ceremony of the Tribal Martyrs Memorial on Tribal Unity Day (August 31, 2018) at Tribal Martyrs Park, Mata Dam, Lamka .

The Tribal Martyrs Memorial unveiled today is a monument to the supreme sacrifices made by the nine Tribal Martyrs, and a memorial to the 632 continuous days of prayers and relentless struggle by the tribal people here in Manipur as well as the Indian national capital Delhi, and various parts of the world where Zo and Naga ethnic communities reside in reasonably significant numbers.

The Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Joint Action Committee Against Anti-Tribal Bills (JACAATB) and Manipur Government on May 10, 2017 brought to an end the two-year long agitation for tribal rights and identity that began as a result of the passing of three anti-tribal bills by Manipur Legislative Assembly this very day three years ago. The Tribal Martyrs Park is one of the outcomes of this MOU.

The construction of the Park being carried out under the monitoring of the District Administration is far from complete, and post the unveiling ceremony of the Memorial, the construction of the Park will again resume in full swing; the construction of Tribal Martyrs Memorial Hall at Singngat will also begin shortly.

Today is not a day of mourning; rather, it is a day of triumph. Let me tell you why.
1. The three anti-tribal bills are now dead and gone. - On 11th May 2016, the President of India rejected the Protection of Manipur Peoples Bill, 2015. - On 23rd July 2018, Manipur Legislative Assembly withdrew the two remaining bills, namely, the Manipur Land Revenue & Land Reforms (Seventh Amendment) Bill, 2015 and the Manipur Shops & Establishments (Second Amendment) Bill, 2015. It may be noted here that the JACAATB had earlier written to the Chief Minister on 27th June, 2018 and issued two press releases on 27th June and 19th July 2018 regarding its objection to the introduction of any new bill affecting the tribal people while two of the three anti-tribal bills were still pending.

2. The Manipur Government assured that, henceforth, any new bill shall be passed following the procedure as per the Indian Constitution and only after prior due consultation of all stakeholders.

The State Government, through its MOU, also made two notable assurances: 1. The State Government assured all possible help and cooperation in the political dialogue involving the two Zo armed groups – namely, UPF and KNO, as the talks that will have lasting impact on the political future of the Zo people in present day Manipur gets underway. 2. The State Government also acknowledges the demand for the creation of Lamka District for administrative convenience and better delivery of services to the people, and left the matter to be considered by the State Cabinet.

These are assurances that we believe will have far reaching positive implications not only for the indigenous Zo people, but also for the tribal people in present day Manipur at large.

The true strength of tribal unity has been tried and tested since that fateful autumn three years back – and we all have witnessed the formidable force of Tribal UNITY!

Dear brothers and sisters, my fellow tribals, we are not done yet; rather, we are just one step ahead towards our goal. And to achieve that goal, the Tribal Movement has shown us the power of Unity. It is but up to us to unleash that power, or conceal it under the shadows of our own selfish pride and ego and be swallowed by our often meaningless differences. Unity is the key. The Indian Union has reacted to the voices of our Unity in the form of the UPF-KNO dialogues.

The tribal people of Manipur are at a crossroad – two roads diverged in front of us, and the road we choose to take today will make all the difference tomorrow. It is up to you and me to decide. Now!


INSCRIPTION ON THE STONE:

AT NO POINT IN HISTORY HAVE THE ANCESTRAL TERRITORIES OF THE INDIGENOUS ZO (CHIN-KUKI-ZOMI/MIZO) AND NAGA ETHNIC TRIBES OF PRESENT-DAY MANIPUR BEEN A PART OF THE ERSTWHILE MANIPURI KINGDOM. RATHER, THE ZO AND NAGA TRIBES HAVE ALWAYS BEEN SOVEREIGN, AUTONOMOUS AND SELF-GOVERNING UNTIL THE BRITISH IMPERIALISTS AMALGAMATED THE VALLEY KINGDOM WITH THE SURROUNDING ZO AND NAGA TERRITORIES FOR PURELY ADMINISTRATIVE CONVENIENCE AND WITHOUT ANY HISTORICAL JUSTIFICATION. UNDER BRITISH INDIA, WHILE THE MANIPURI MONARCH CONTINUED TO RULE OVER HIS SUBJECTS IN THE VALLEY, THE RESPONSIBILITY OF ADMINISTERING THE TRIBES IN THE SURROUNDING HILLS, AS MAY BE NECESSARY, RESTED WITH THE BRITISH POLITICAL AGENT.

IN 1949, THE THEN REIGNING MONARCH OF MANIPUR MERGED HIS VALLEY KINGDOM WITH THE INDIAN UNION; HOWEVER, THE SURROUNDING HILLS UNDER ZO AND NAGA TERRITORIES HAVE NOT BEEN A PARTY TO ANY MERGER AGREEMENT WITH ANY SOVEREIGN POLITY TO THIS DAY. NEVERTHELESS, THE PARTITIONED ZO AND NAGA TRIBESMEN THAT CONSTITUTED THE RE-CHRISTENED HILL AREAS OF MANIPUR STATE ENTERED A NEW CHAPTER IN THEIR POLITICAL HISTORY THAT SAW REPEATED INTRUSIONS BY THE STATE ON TRIBAL LAND RIGHTS COUPLED WITH AN APATHETIC ATTITUDE BY CONSECUTIVE GOVERNMENTS TOWARDS TRIBAL INTERESTS.

WHAT ENSUED WAS THE SYSTEMATIC EXPLOITATION OF THE ZO AND NAGA ETHNIC TRIBES OF PRESENT-DAY MANIPUR, ACCENTUATED BY THE VALLEY-DOMINATED MANIPUR GOVERNMENT'S BLATANT ATTEMPTS TO INFRINGE ON THE EXISTING CONSTITUTIONAL SAFEGUARDS PROVIDED TO THE TRIBAL PEOPLE. WITH THE STATE NEVER HESITANT TO OVERRIDE THE RIGHTS GUARANTEED TO THE TRIBES OF PRESENTDAY MANIPUR UNDER ARTICLE 371 C OF THE INDIAN CONSTITUTION, THE INDIGENOUS TRIBES CONTINUE TO BE VICTIMS OF SUCCESSIVE STATE GOVERNMENTS’ INTRINSIC POLICY OF CULTURAL AND SOCIAL SUBJUGATION, POLITICAL MARGINALIZATION AND DEVELOPMENTAL EXCLUSION IN THEIR OWN ANCESTRAL TERRITORIES.

THE PASSING OF THE THREE ANTI-TRIBAL BILLS BY MANIPUR LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY ON THE 31ST OF AUGUST, 2015 – THE PROTECTION OF MANIPUR PEOPLE BILL, 2015, THE MANIPUR LAND REVENUE & LAND REFORMS (SEVENTH AMENDMENT) BILL, 2015 AND THE MANIPUR SHOPS & ESTABLISHMENTS (SECOND AMENDMENT) BILL, 2015 – ADDED FUEL TO THE ALREADY SIMMERING DISCONTENT AMONG THE INDIGENOUS TRIBES OF THE HILL AREAS, RE-IGNITING THEIR FEARS AGAINST THE DISCRIMINATORY POLICIES OF THE MANIPUR GOVERNMENT.

THE TRIBAL MARTYRS MEMORIAL UNVEILED TODAY IS IN HONOUR OF THE NINE INNOCENT TRIBAL LIVES THAT WERE LOST AT THE HANDS OF THE MANIPUR GOVERNMENT THAT FATEFUL AUTUMN OF 2015.

“MAY OUR LAST WALK BE YOUR FIRST STEP”

THANGZALIAN PHAIPI | ROBERT V ZAMMINTHANG | K. PAUSUANLIAN | H. PAULIANMANG |KHAIJAMANG TOUTHANG K. LAMKHENTHANG | KHAMSIANMUAN |HENLALSON GANGTE | ENKHANKHUP SUANTE

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All pictures by Rinawm Tonsing (Big Picture).