IOSDE supports the following 2 September 2015 Statement made by six Indigenous women's organizations of Manipur concerning the Manipur Land Revenue and Land Reforms (seventh amendment) Bill 2015 passed in the State Assembly on 31 August 2015:
Joint Statement of Indigenous Women in Manipur
We the Hmar Women Association, the Kuki Women Union, the Zomi Mothers Association, Churachandpur Joint Women Organization, the Mizo Peoples Convention Women’s wing, Naga Women’s Union representing the voice of indigenous women in Manipur assert that we are peoples different from the dominant societies.
We are a people who have been living and practicing our culture and traditions which is unique and distinct from the dominant societies.
Our social, cultural, economic and political life has been passed down from our ancestors and we continue to practice them.
We belong to a worldview that defines land as collectively owned by the people and not the State. We are against any form of attempt to alienate us from our land. Land is central to our identity and life.
Therefore, the exclusive agreement between the government of Manipur and the JCILPs on the Manipur Land Revenue and land Reforms (seventh amendment) bill 2015 and which was subsequently passed in the Manipur Assembly on August 31, 2015 should not and cannot include the land of the indigenous peoples; namely in the district of Churachandpur, Tamenglong, Chandel, Ukhrul and Senapati.
We condemn the Manipur Government for going ahead with the passing of the said bill in the face of strong protest by the tribal civil society organisations registered with the 12 hour bandh from 6 AM to 6 PM of 31st August, 2015 in the tribal areas.
We also condemn the use of brutal force by the Manipur State Police force which has led to killings of 7 tribal civilians and injuries of more than 20 on the evening of 31st August and the 1st September, 2015. The use of violence by the state to silence the legitimate voice of the tribals and insult their sentiments is most unacceptable in a democracy.
Churachandpur Joint Women Organization
Kuki Women Union, Churachandpur
Zomi Mother’s Association
Mizo Peoples’ Convention Women’s Wing
Hmar Women Association, Churachandpur
Naga Women’s Union