Monday, May 14, 2012

13-5-2012 Nagas in Burma most neglected tribe

Eastern Mirror
Our Correspondent | EMN
IMPHAL, MAY 13: Chairman of Naga National League for Democracy in exile, U Saw Sa said Nagas of Burma are the most neglected tribe and that till date there are no proper roads, schools, electricity, water supply and health care centres. The few kilometres of road are roughly constructed making it difficult for vehicles ply leading to loss of life due to accidents. Total Naga population is around 2-3 lakhs.

He said the main objective of NNLD is to fight for restoration of democracy in Burma and creation of political status for Nagas in Burma.

U Saw Sa disclosed this while speaking at North Eastern Social Research Centre (NESRC), Guwahati and Burma Centre Delhi (BCD) sponsored two-day workshop on 2012 by-elections in Burma at North East Diocesan Social Forum Guwahati on May 11 and 12, according to a press release which was made available here.

Addressing the workshop from the civil society perspective on the ongoing reforms in Burma and its implications in the North East, social activist from Nagaland Niketu Iralu said the military junta in Naypyidaw has not suddenly become a congregation of saints who want to do the right thing for their people.

Admiring the democratic leader Aung San Suu Kyi and her struggle, as well as the Dalai Lama, Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi, Iralu said if people decide to be as responsible and committed as them, the world would see how the human race can survive and progress together in the 21 century.

He added that the challenge was going to become tougher decade by decade. Further, he said unless people decide to be incompatible agents of change guided by the small voice, it would simply add more to the crisis.

Ex-MLA from Nagaland Tangsoi Khongo said the Nagas in Burma are trying to cope with the sudden changes taking place there. He spoke about the forced labour upon the tribals. Those refusing to work are jailed, he said. He appealed the government to take steps to understand what is happening and intervene for the safety and protection of the people.

Myanmar’s former National League for Democracy MP in exile Dr Tint Swe said the once flourishing Moreh trade centre has become deserted today at a time when India was talking big about connectivity with Myanmar. The former NLD MP also said although there is democratic transition taking place yet democracy still hangs in balance. He was apprehensive of the junta going back to square one in the governance of the country. He appealed well wishers of Burma to help accelerate the democratic process.

Dr Swe strongly advocated people-to-people contact in North East India to drum up support for amendment of the Myanmar constitution which was drafted by the military government. Involvement of the civil societies in extra parliamentary activities would really help the Burma in the process of democratization, he said.