The second edition of the All Tribal Students’ Union Manipur (ATSUM) General Assembly was held at Haipi village in Kangpokpi District and culminated with a pledge on two issues and various charters of demands.
The ATSUM’s “Haipi Pledge” was signed by the President of All Tribal Students’ Union Manipur (ATSUM), All Naga Students’ Association (ANSAM), Kuki Students’ Organisation – GHQ (KSO-GHQ), Senapati District Students’ Association (SDSA), Tangkhul Katamnao Salong (TKS), Naga Students’ Union Chandel (NSUC), Chairman of Zeliangrong Students’ Union Manipur (ZSUM) and Convenor of Joint Students’ Body (JSBC).
Demanding the tabling of HAC recommended “The Manipur (Hill Areas) Autonomous District Council Bill 2021” in the Manipur Legislative Assembly, the Manipur’s tribal student apex body general assembly pledged to strive together until the demand is met by the state government. Secondly, it also pledged to protect the constitutional rights, customary laws, and practices of the tribal communities.
According to the student body, the Haipi Pledge was vowed at the Assembly and a declaration was made to stand united and Resolute to facilitate commitment to a tribal cause and issues.
The august House also unanimously resolved to reaffirm and endorse the ATSUM executives to pursue the Charter of Demands placed before the government of Manipur for materialization as agreed in an official meeting held between ATSUM and the state government on August 13, 2019.
The charter of demands includes the constitution of an Education Commission by the state government considering the sorry state of affairs of the Education system, especially in hill districts.
In connection with the HAC recommended “The Manipur (Hill Areas) Autonomous District Council Bill 2021, the house resolved to reiterate the demand for the tabling of the HAC recommended “The Manipur (Hill Areas) Autonomous District Council Bill 2021” in the Manipur Legislative Assembly and enacting the same as an Act.
The house also had a threadbare deliberation and in the light of the pre-independent India dispensation whereby the tribal/hill people enjoyed separate stature and position vis-à-vis the valley people; the exclusion of the tribal/hill people from the purview of the MLR &LR Act 1960 and special provisions for the tribals under Article 371C of the Indian Constitution, took two firm resolutions.
Concerning land and forest issues the house unanimously resolved that it will not accept any land laws/Forest Laws concerning the tribals being enacted by the state government which undermines and dilutes upon the letter and spirit of the existing separate and special provision of the hill people.
Further, to make the tribal position amply clear, the house resolved that the customary system of land ownership and land holding system of the tribal communities must be given due respect.
It also resolved that any exploration or exploitation of Natural resources in tribal land should be acceptable and beneficial to the land owners.
On the imposition of major language, the house resolved to fight tooth and nail against any form/kind of imposition of major language upon tribal people.
The second General Assembly of ATSUM for the tenure 2020-22 was attended by ATSUM Tribunal Members, Senior Leaders, Federating Units of ATSUM, ANSAM and its Units, and KSO-GHQ and its Units.
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