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Showing posts from October, 2011

MANIPUR IN MULTIPLE CRISES

Imphal Free Press Oct 24 2011
It is a wonder Manipur continues to trudge along despite so many different forces violently pulling it in different directions, some with the avowed intent of dismantling and destroying it. It is equally a wonder that the people by and large have remained calm and stoic at such times. For it should surprise anybody that without any overt complaint, as if it is what fate has willed them, people queue up for petrol through the night at the petrol pumps which had been designated for rationed distribution of the commodity for the day. This resilience is next to confounding, and obviously it is a boon for the government of the day. But let the government not take things too much for granted. Tempers could explode on the streets without warning as patience all around is being stressed beyond limits. We earnestly hope it does not happen, but it would be prudent for everybody, especially the government, to be wary that even a spark can cause raging infernos in s…

SUMMER OF DISCONTENT

Imphal Free Press Oct 25 2011
The only evidence of something happening in Imphal these days is the cloud of dust and the mud-coated tarmac roads on account of either construction works in progress or abandoned. One of the most vital roads in the city, the one leading to some of the most important health facilities available in the state, including the Regional Institution of Medical Sciences, RIMS, and a number of other private hospitals and diagnostic centres, has been in an unusable and deplorable state for years now, yet nobody seems to be making any effort in earnest to get things moving. Elsewhere, in fact everywhere, there are huge buildings and complexes rising up. The massive conventions centre at the Palace Gate, the Capitol Project at the base of Cheiraoching, the High Court complex a little beyond, the Inter State Bus Terminus on the Stadium Road, the renovation of the Hapta Polo-ground at the Palace Compound... to name just a few. These are grand projects no doubt, and on…

MANIPUR CLOSURE DEFINED: COLLECTIVE PUNISHMENT

by Roy Laifungbam  04 October 2011
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A dear friend asked me today to write a couple of random words about the present “economic blockade” situation in Manipur. But what I wrote turned out a mouthful.

There is nothing new about the concept or imposition of an “economic blockade” in world history. It is a military weapon used for political ends. A blockade is an effort to cut off food, supplies, war material or communications from a particular area by force, either in part or totally. The Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip has been continuing since 2001, receiving the world’s attention as a continuing crisis. A blockade is defined by the Encyclopaedia Britannica as "an act of war”. Countries have blockaded each other during wars and during peaceful times. The US blockade of Cuba is an example of the use of economic blockade during peaceful times. Tens of thousands of Biafrans starved to death during the war of independence through the policy of the Nigerian generals supported…