Consultation on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in North East India held at Imphal

Imphal 19th July 2013 (Zoramnews.com):A One day consultation which was held today at the Diocesan Social Service Society, Mantripukhri, Imphal, Manipur  on the theme  ‘Understanding the rights of the Indigenous Peoples in the Northeast” was jointly organized by the Meghalaya Peoples Human Rights Council (MPHRC), Naga Peoples Movement for Human Rights (NPMHR), Indigenous Women’s Forum of Northeast India (IWFNEI), Karbi Human Rights Watch (KHRW), Zo Indigenous Forum (ZIF), Sinlung Indigenous Peoples Human Rights organization (SIPHRO) & United Naga Council (UNC) held today at the Diocesan Social Service Society, Mantripukhri, Imphal, Manipur.

The objective of the consultation is to understand the rights of IPs in the Northeast and to develop solidarity and common understanding of the Indigenous peoples of Northeast on the essence of the right to self determination.

The consultation proposed setting up of an inclusive network of indigenous peoples in North East India and their organizations to collectively strengthen and facilitate relations, communications and solidarities amongst indigenous peoples while at the same time endeavoring to safeguard and ensure that the rights of the  indigenous peoples are recognized and respected.

The consultation reaffirms and recognizes the centrifugal role of women in promoting indigenous peoples’ rights to self determination.  Women should be strengthened and indigenous women-based organizations actively supported if rights to self determination are to be truly and sustainably realized by the indigenous communities in its overall holistic essence.

That, during the consultation, intense discussions were held on the very legitimacy of several organizations purporting to be indigenous organizations or working for indigenous peoples while in reality, they are not. The discussions also noted that there are indigenous organizations that ironically support the existence and activities of such organizations. Given these facts, the consultation reaffirms the right to self determination of indigenous peoples and is fully committed to the realization of their deeply held aspirations and expectations without being covertly and insidiously manipulated.

The representatives felt that the self identification of Indigenous Peoples in North East India should be recognized and accepted by other indigenous communities.

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