Sunday, January 30, 2005

INDIA: North East Insurgency Report 28-29JAN [7 News Clippings]

INDIA: North East Insurgency Report 28-29JAN [7 News Clippings]

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01. ULFA is 'frustrated', says Indira Goswami
02. Vij ignores creeping careerism
03. Govt keen on talks with ULFA: Governor
04. Nagalim an illusion: UNLF
05. Three held by AR, I/W police, arms recovered
06. UGs held
07. UNLF takes issue with NSCN on ‘Naga integration’



01. ULFA is 'frustrated', says Indira Goswami

ULFA is 'frustrated', says Indira Goswami Publish Date : 1/29/2005
11:30:00 AM Source : Religion and Spirituality News

Noted Assamese writer and peace negotiator Indira Goswami has termed
the recent blasts, allegedly by the separatist United Liberation
Front of Asom (ULFA), in the northeastern state as an "act of

"It is for the first time that they (ULFA) have wanted to talk to the
Indian government and it is natural that their level of patience is
coming down. But no doubt violence can't be an excuse for that," said
Goswami, who was sought by the rebel outfit to negotiate with the

"I have appealed to the government to issue a fresh letter of
invitation to the ULFA," Jnanpith winner Goswami said.

The ULFA is suspected to be behind four powerful landmine blasts in
Assam, including three in the state's main city of Guwahati during
Wednesday's Republic Day celebrations, injuring at least eight
people. The fourth blast was in the western Assam district of

"I personally feel that they (ULFA) are frustrated because the peace
process with the government is being delayed due to various factors
which I can't disclose at this juncture," Goswami told IANS.

The Delhi University professor had received a letter from the Prime
Minister's Office (PMO) in November that said the government was
ready for a peace process with the ULFA if it shunned violence.

But the rebel outfit declined the offer, saying the government had
laid a "precondition". It also objected to the fact that the letter
was not signed by the prime minister, but by M.K. Narayanan, then
Internal Security Advisor to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Goswami disclosed that the government was considering various
"options" and "modalities" before starting negotiations with the
ULFA, which has been fighting for an independent Assam for the past
26 years.

Goswami said ULFA chief Paresh Baruah had not been in touch with her
for a couple of months.

"I feel he (Baruah) will get back to me soon and I will be made aware
of their move."

More than 10,000 people have lost their lives in the two-decade long
armed conflict in Assam.(IANS)

02. Vij ignores creeping careerism

Days before he is to hang up his spurs as Chief of Army Staff, Gen NC
Vij has departed from established practice to write individually to
around 45,000 officers of the Army.

In his poignantly-worded thank-you letter, he has accepted that the
Army needs to ?obviate altogether?, some human rights 'aberrations'
despite an 'outstanding track record'.

He said the fencing of the Line of Control (LoC) was a magnificent
task, which deterred intruders. Vij has avoided any reference to the
creeping careerism in the Army as manifested by the faked killings of
infiltrators, which is one of the biggest embarrassments for the

Gen K Sundarji had addressed a similar letter 'a kind of a personal
manifesto' to colleagues that began 'Dear Brother' when he became
Army Chief. Vij is writing when he is about to retire. His letter
begins 'Dear Colleague' and was written on January 15, the Army Day.

The 13-page letter reviews his tenure as Army Chief and notes that as
a result of the three-pronged strategy of combating proxy war in
Kashmir, the number of militants has been reduced from 3,500 in
January 2003 to around '1800 now'.

He says the 'well-coordinated' operation between the Army and the
Royal Bhutan Army in December 03-January 04 'have appreciably
marginalised' the Kamtapuri Liberation Organisation (KLO), the United
Liberation Front of Assam (Ulfa) and the National Democratic Front of
Bodoland (NDFB). The militancy in Manipur, he says, continues to
simmer. But it is 'being addressed adequately,' says the letter.

Vij also mentions the new operational strategy of the Army, a drive
to rapidly develop information systems, and an improvement in the
organisational structure of the army.

A case has been projected to the government to create some additional
headquatrters albeit without any force accretion. 'It should
materialise soon,' he says.

He refers to the new training academy for non-commissioned officers
and speaks of the improved career prospects of officers and says an
additional 750 posts of colonels have been created by the government
to ensure cadre mobility, as per the Ajay Vikram Singh committee

More officers will now be taken into the Army to address the
shortfall, he says.

He also says transparency in personnel matters has been a thrust area
of his tenure, though he recognises more has to be done. The Army
still has a large number of complaints of arbitrary appointments and
denial of promotions, though the Air Force has a large number of
higher ranking officers in court.

Vij also talks of the welfare measures, housing, medical educational
requirements of soldiers and their families, which received a boost
during his tenure. He has paid a special tribute to the Vice-Chief of
Defence Staff, Lt Gen Shantonu Choudhary for ensuring team work.

The letter pays a tribute, in the best tradition of the soldier, to
retired officers, who never cease to be part of the 'big family that
is the Army'.


03. Govt keen on talks with ULFA: Governor
By A Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI – In his Republic Day speech yesterday, the Governor of
Assam, Lt Gen (retd) Ajai Singh paid homage to those killed in last
year’s Dhemaji blast. Referring to the need to have a peaceful
climate in the State, he remarked that the Government was keen to
hold talks with the ULFA, and further the peace process with the
other insurgent groups.

“The law-and-order situation has improved and insurgents have, in
desperation, resorted to sporadic attacks on soft targets. We
continue to witness growth in all sectors and mindset of the State is
optimistic and dynamic,” said the Governor.

The floods in 2004 were unprecedented and caused immense loss of
lives, infrastructure and property. He said that the State was
thankful to the Government of India for rendering assistance during
the crisis.

“Continuing on the theme of peace and development, the State
Government has taken several steps to consolidate the gain made in
the last three-and-a-half years. The GDP growth rate has risen from
3.96 in 2000-01 to 6 in 2003-04. The per capita income increased from
Rs 10,718 in 2000-01 to Rs 12,593 in 2003-04,” the Governor

He also mentioned that it was to benefit the government employees
that the retirement age was increased from 58 years to 59. The salary
of casual employees has increased from Rs 1,800 per month to Rs 2,100
per month.

Referring to institutional reforms, he said that such reforms would
received a boost as the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has sanctioned a
loan of $ 150 million for Assam Governance and Public Resource
Management Programme for financial restructuring and institutional
reforms, out of which $ 45 million has already been released.

In his speech, the Governor pointed to the developments taking place
in the rural sector. During the period from 1997-98 to 2000-01, the
total fund flow under rural development was Rs 1,187.80 crore, which
increased to more than Rs 3,327.38 crore during the next four years.
In this connection, he stated that rural connectivity, housing,
employment generation and wasteland development have also witnessed
rapid progress.

According to the Governor, employment generation has been the
overriding objective of all the schemes and programmes of the State
Government. Against this background, recently, a standing committee
on employment generation has been constituted to examine and suggest
measures to create avenues for employment. He mentioned the Kalpataru
scheme for self-employment in this regard.

Talking on the socio-cultural and economic status of the State, the
Governor said that the State Government has focused on the problems
faced by the SCs, STs, minorities and OBCs. “The State Government
has recommended the cases of inclusion of the Adivasis,
Koch-Rajbongshis, Ahoms, Morans, Mataks, and Chutiyas in the list of
scheduled tribes,” he said.

Alluding to the Bodoland Territorial Council, he said that the State
Government has entrusted and delegated the functioning of 39
subjects/departments to the Council. Rules have been framed for
holding elections to the general committee of the Council.

His speech also highlighted a project for the development of the
Guwahati city at an estimated cost of Rs 436.80 crore, which has been
formulated for funding by the ADB. The Government of India and the
ADB have accepted the proposal in principle



04. Nagalim an illusion: UNLF
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, January 28: Reacting strongly to the demand for unification
of Naga inhabited by the NSCN (IM), the UNLF has today asserted that
the stand of the IM group will do nothing except give rise to ethnic
tension and plunge the entire North East region into endless ethnic
conflict and chaos.

Terming the demand of the NSCN (IM) as an illusion, UNLF in a
statement today said that the demand raised by the NSCN (IM) to
integrate the Naga inhabited areas of Manipur, Assam and Arunachal
Pradesh under one administrative unit has generated strong and
legitimate reactions from people of the three States.

Questioning why the IM group has been playing this emotive issue time
and again in the course of the peace talk with the GoI, UNLF said
that it now obvious that the objective of the collective leadership
of the NSCN (IM) is to manufacture some sort of a 'mandate of the
people' to strengthen their negotiating power in pressing for 'Naga

In their inverted vision of the 'uniqueness of Naga history' and
'Naga integration', the NSCN (IM) is forgetting the history of
others, which date back to more than 2000 years.

To them this seems to be no history, observed the outfit.

Though made through human actions, history is an objective process,
said UNLF and added that going against this objective process will be

The historical process of the multi ethnic territorial boundaries
should develop towards a larger unity transcending ethnic territorial
boundaries not fragmentation on narrow ethnic lines, said the outfit.

Reacting to 'offer' of Th Muivah to the Meiteis, Hmar, Dimasa and
Karbi to live together with the Nagas, the statement said that all
should certainly live together but not in ethnic-exclusive club like
NSCN (IM)'s 'Nagalim'.The fact is that these different communities
have been living together for ages despite subversive external
religious influences.

Ultimately Naga-exclusive 'Nagalim' of the NSCN (IM) is anti-history
and as such anti-Naga as well said UNLF.

The concept of Nagalim is nothing more than an illusion, added the

Accusing the NSCN (IM) for launching the ethnic cleansing process
that killed over 700 Kukis in the early 1990s, UNLF said this was a
crime against humanity and added that the NSCN (IM) too should be
held responsible for the death of Naga people during the ethnic

Seen against this backdrop, the offer of the NSCN (IM) to live
together sounds hypocritic, said UNLF and appealed to the Naga people
to reason against the futility the narrow ethnic politics played by
the NSCN (IM).

Reiterating that the territorial integrity of Manipur is
non-negotiable, UNLF however appealed to all the people of Arunachal
Pradesh, Assam and Manipur to stay calm and forge amity and unity
with sensible Naga people to defeat the divisive and reactionary
forces of the region.


05. Three held by AR, I/W police, arms recovered

The Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL, Jan 28: Personnel of the 4th Assam Rifles under the aegis of
HQ 9 Sector apprehended W Diken Singh, son of W Ibobi Singh a
resident of Thoubal and an activist of the underground PLA from

Meanwhile, commandos of the Imphal west district police arrested one
activist each of the underground UNLF nd KYKL.

The arrest at Chingmeirong was made after the AR personnel swooped
down in the general area of Chingmeirong upon receiving specific
information on manufacture of weapons and ammunition.

The apprehended activist revealed that he had been working under self
styled private Jiten Sigh, a PLA cadre and an expert in fabricating
and manufacturing weapons and accessories.

Three country made magazines of 9 mm carbine and 9 mm pistol barrel
assembly were recovered from the individual who was later handed over
to Heingang police station, a release said.

In the meantime, the UNLF activist arrested by Imphal west commandos
has been identified as Thangjam Iboyaima Singh alias Paikhomba alias
Prem, 36, son of Th Chandra Singh of Nongpok Keithelmanbi while the
KYKL activist has been identified as Soibam Ibomcha Singh alias Puya,
24, son of S Bokuljao Singh of Thoubal Kiyam Wangma Taba.


06. UGs held
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, January 28: Troops of 4 Assam Rifles have reportedly
apprehended a suspected PLA activist identified as W Diken Singh s/o
W Ibobi Singh of Thoubal during a search operated conducted in
general area of Chingmeirong early hours today.

According to a PIB Defence Wing source the arrested individual is an
expert in fabricating and manufacturing weapons and accessories and
has revealed that he had been working for one self styled private
Jiten Singh, a PLA cadre.

Three country made magazines of 9 mm carbine and 9 mm pistol barrel
assembly were recovered from Diken who has been handed over to the
Heingang PS, the release added.

Meanwhile, the Commandos of Imphal West District Police have arrested
two underground activists during frisking and checking at different
parts in general area of Babupara Imphal this evening.

One of the arrested activist identified as Thangjam Iboyaima Singh
alias Paikhomba alias Prem (36) of Nongpok Keithelmanbi belongs to
UNLF while the other identified as Soibam Ibomcha Singh alias Yuya
(24) of Thoubal Kiyam Wangma Taba belongs to KYKL outfit, police


07. UNLF takes issue with NSCN on ‘Naga integration’

The Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL, Jan 28: The underground United National Liberation Front,
UNLF, has cautioned the NSCN (IM) leadership over the latter’s
drumming up once again of the Naga integration issue, terming it as a
dangerously myopic policy that has the potential to plunge the whole
region into endless conflict and chaos.

The UNLF, in a statement issued by its department of publicity, also
took the view that the NSCN(IM), in seeking an exclusive solution to
the ‘Indo-Naga political process’ through the creation of a
‘Nagalim’, was indulging in illusion.

The UNLF maintained that the NSCN(IM), by playing up the sentiments
of the common Nagas, was trying to manufacture some sort of a
‘mandate of the people’ to strengthen their negotiating position
vis-a-vis the government of India in pressing on for ‘Naga

‘This is a dangerously myopic policy in that it has the potential
of plunging the entire Region into endless ethnic conflict and chaos.
In their inverted vision of “uniqueness of Naga history” and
“Naga integration”, the NSCN(IM) collective leadership is
forgetting the history of others more than 2000 years old, which to
them seems to be no history,’, the statement said.

Taking the view that the historic process of the multi-ethnic region
should develop towards a larger unity transcending ethnic territorial
boundaries, not fragmentation on narrow ethnic lines, the UNLF
maintained that in history there is no room for the ‘individual
benevolence’ and ‘chauvinistic ego’ displayed by NSCN(IM)
leader Th Muivah in his invitation to Meitei, Kuki, Dimasa and other
brethren to live together with the Nagas.

‘Certainly, all of us should want to live together, but not in an
ethnic-exclusive club like the NSCN(IM)’s “Nagalim”, the
statement said, pointing to the historical fact that these ethnic
brothren have been liviing together from historical times despite
subversive external religious influence.

‘In the ultimate analysis, the Naga-exclusive “Nagalim” of the
NSCN(IM) is anti-history, and as such anti-Naga as well’, the UNLF
stated. It is time for the NSCN(IM) to touch down on ground reality,
it asserted.

It recalled that the NSCN(IM) was responsible for the killing of over
700 innocent people of the Kuki community, during its violent ethnic
cleansing campaign of the 1990s, and by extension, also for the Naga
brethren killed in the same conflict. Put against this backdrop,
Muivah’s offer sounds hypocritical, the statement said, and urged
the fraternal Naga people to reason against the narrow ethnic
politics of the NSCN(IM).

On its part, the UNLF, reiterated that the territorial integrity of
the land now called Manipur is non-negotiable, and that the emotional
unity of all the ethnic brothers of Manipur is inviolable. It also
reiterated its commitment to protect the integrity and unity of
Manipur at all costs.

At the same time, the UNLF appealed to all concerned, particularly
the peoples of Manipur, Arunachal, and Assam, to stay calm and forge
amity and unity with sensible Naga peoples so as to defeat the
divisive and reactionary forces in the region.