Imphal: Youth’s Forum for Protection of Human Rights (YFPHR) in collaboration with Centre for Research and Advocacy-Manipur, Human Rights Initiative, Youth’s Action Committee for Protection of Indigenous Peoples, Young Peoples for Social Reform, Indigenous Women Forum Manipur, Khangabok Development and Students’ Union jointly organized virtual commemoration of International Day of World Indigenous Peoples adopting the theme “Development Aggressive in Manipur: Re-Thinking Indigenous People and Development Projects”.
The programme was participated mainly by youth representing Chandel, Bishnupur, Senapati, Noney and Tamenglong, Urkhul, Imphal West, Imphal East and Thoubal districts giving testimony of the present impact of the developmental projects in their respective districts.
Important issues such as construction of Railway by NF Railway in Tamenglong, Imphal West and Noney, Asian High Way Road Expansion by GR Infrastructure which involves stone mining in Chandonpokpi area of Chandel District, Construction of Khuga River at Churachandpur which remained defunct for many years without achieving its purpose, Construction of Ring Road in Imphal West and its possible Impact, proposed construction of Chakka Khongnem Dam and its possible negative impact in Senapati district were highlighted by the participants.
Programme observer Jiten Yumnam, Secretary Centre for Research and Advocacy stressed on the role of youth to protect Manipur from disastrous projects which give negative impact as no indigenous communities are made to participate in any developmental projects in the State. The same could be seen in Mapithel Dam, Railway Line construction, Khuga Dam, Lok Hydro Power Corporation and several others, he stated.
At the end of the programme, the participants put up slogans reading “No Mining in Manipur”, “Respect Rights of the Indigenous Peoples”, “Manipur is Not For Sale”, “Decommission Ithai Barrage”, “Our Land Our Identity”, “Let Our River Flow Free” and others.