Sunday, October 2, 2011

An active week for the GNLA and a new district

Meghalaya police were attacked by Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) militants on Tuesday.  There was an exchange of fire and the GNLA rebels allegedly attempted, unsuccessfully, to detonate an ‘improvised explosive device’.  A Meghalaya Congress MLA wrote to Congress President Sonia Gandhi earlier in the week saying her intervention is required in the face of continued GNLA threats against parliamentarians.

Municipal elections will be held in early 2012 in Manipur.  There has been violence against, and perpetrated by, supporters of various candidates this week.  The United Naga Council has urged Nagas not to participate.
The Border Security Force (BSF) and Border Guards Bangladesh met on 24 September in Dhaka to finalise modalities for joint border management.  Agitations against the recent Indo-Bangladeshi border deal continue.  The All Assam Students' Union (AASU) had an 11 hour hunger strike against the deal, and against proposed hydro electric dams.  Also on Indo-Bangladeshi relations, it came out this week that the failure to extradite Chetia to India before Prime Minister Singh's recent visit was not because the two countries couldn’t reach agreement, but because Chetia said he wouldn’t participate in the peace process unless Paresh Baruah was also involved.

India and Burma agreed to double trade to US$3b by 2015.  The countries' respective Commerce Ministers signed the agreement at the 4th meeting of Joint Trade Commission held last week. Veteran journalist Bertil Lintner said in an interview this week that widely reported Burmese army action against northeast insurgent camps never happened but was a manufactured story, leaked ahead of the Burmese President’s visit to India.  
Just as Nagas are currently facing a push for a Naga-inhabited district to be subdivided in the Sadar Hills District stand off, so are Bodos facing pressure from a minority seeking its own administrative entity.  Apparently Bodoland Territorial Council chief and Bodoland People’s Front (BPF) president Hagrama Mohilary “fumbled and appeared helpless” while speaking to Koch Rajbonshi United Forum meeting home minister P Chidambaram. The Koch-Rajbongshis want a separate state carved out of Cooch Behar, Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri, Dinajpur, Malda, Kokrajhar, Bongaigaon, Dhubri and Goalpara.  And Arunachal Pradesh got a new district last week.  Longding, carved out of Tirap district, and bordering Burma and Nagaland, is home to the Wancho community.
And over 7,200 Jews from Mizoram and Manipur, known as the lost tribe of Bnei Menashe, are expected to be approved to emigrate to Israel in the near future.

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