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www.morungexpress.com

ThursDAY • FebruArY 16 • 2017

DIMAPUR • Vol. XII • Issue 44 • 12 PAGes • 5

T H e

ESTD. 2005

P o W e R

o F

T R u T H

A fight between grasshoppers is a joy to the crow — Lesotho proverb State-wide bandh continues PAGE 02

reflections

By Sandemo Ngullie

Students complain of eve teasing, harassment by bandh volunteers PAGE 05

change in leadership imminent

Dimapur | February 15

NTC express concern over Feb 10 incident

DimApur, FebruAry 15 (mexN): The Nagaland Tribes Council (NTC) has expressed concern at the ambush of GPRN/NSCN Ao region camp and detention of Merangtoshi and Tongpang Ao, both from GPRN/NSCN, by the NSCN (IM) on February 10. A press note from the NTC stated that “for the Nagas to continue living in division is nothing more than self-destruction.” “We cannot afford to feel convenient or confident with the kind of disunity amongst the Nagas be it the national groups or civil organisations,” it added. It meanwhile reminded: “As we cannot remain complacent and hand over the kind of mess to our children, the NTC took upon itself the task of bringing about Naga national groups to a common platform called ‘Working Group’. While giving clarion call to most of the NNPGs, the GPRN/ NSCN promptly responded and thus the Working Group has become a reality along with the other 5 NNPGs. The working group is for the unity of all Naga national workers and none should construe it to be a syndicate.” It further expressed pain over the February 10 incident in Mokokchung, where the NTC said that “GPRN/NSCN cadres were attacked with the intent to exterminate them as three cadres were injured and two others were captured by NSCN (IM).” “The very action is a serious threat to fragile peace and poise danger to peaceful coexistence. The unprovoked intrusion was unwarranted and highly nefarious,” the NTC stated. This “attack,” the NTC added, “has violated the ground rules to which the group has committed to follow,” and urged the monitoring cell to prevail upon the erring party and prevent them from further indulgence in similar violence. It also appealed to the NSCN (IM) to unconditionally and immediately release Merangtoshi and Tongpang of Ao Region, GPRN/NSCN.

The deadlock between the TR Zeliang led government and the JCC & NTAC continue to simmer with no middle ground in sight, even as the statewide indefinite bandh called by the Naga tribal bodies will enter dayfour on Thursday. While the JCC and the NTAC has been demanding the resignation of the Nagaland Chief Minister TR Zeliang on “moral grounds,” the Chief Minister refused to do so citing constitutional justification that he enjoys majority support in the assembly. A resolute JCC and the NTAC, refusing to budge from their demands even rebuffed an offer for a dialogue from the government. On Tuesday, the Committees had issued a caveat to persuade Zeliang to step down in the form of a deadline to all the elected legislators to withdraw their support to the Chief Minister on or February 17. There are varying opinions on the question of whether the Chief Minister should resign on moral grounds or continue to hold office as per the mandate of the constitution. Call for statesmanship For peace activist Niketu Iralu, at such a time as this, the leader (s) of the state should show greatness and statesman-ship and act on the dictate of conscience. “They are in a position to do something great instead of trying to be politically clever,” Iralu said. He added they should open a new door to the present crisis, bring in

NPF President Shurhozelie likely to take over Morung Express News Dimapur | February 15

Nagaland Chief Minister TR Zeliang stepping down appears imminent as legislators of the ruling Naga People’s Front and party leaders held a string of meetings on Wednesday evening to discuss on the change of guard in the wake of the mounting pressure from the JCC and the NTAC for the Chief Minister to step down. Sources from the camp said the NPF legislators first held a meeting at the residence of the Chief Minister after which another meeting was convened at the residence of party president Dr. Shurhozelie Liezietsu without Zeliang. During the first meeting, there was no decisive outcome despite appeals from some of the legislators asking the CM to step down. So another meeting was convened at the resident of party president to discuss on the issue,” the source informed. After juggling on a number of possible candidates to replace Zeliang, the NPF legislators appear to have zeroed in on its Ao Senden JCC volunteers manning the main town area in Mokokchung on February 15. party president Dr. Liezietsu to take over something of a moral dimension.” The peace activist felt that the Naga civil society is in a very agitated state, because they have been made to respond to a situation where honor and dignity and to protect a fragile society is put at stake. Neichute Doulo, CEO of Entrepreneurs Associates said it will take a lot of courage and challenge for people in the government to find out what is best for the people and not what is best for themselves and the political parties. “The need of the hour for the government is to do what is best for the people and not be guided by political mileage and advantag-

es,” Doulo said. The entrepreneur cautioned that if the people in the government try to justify their position from the constitutional perspective, situation might flare up. He also said this was a great opportunity for the politicians to show statesman-ship and not political calculations. Discontentment and a govt out of touch “There is so much pent up anger, frustration and discontent over numerous issues among the people, especially the youth, and I believe the violent eruption over the final action of the government perceived as a betrayal was a manifestation of the undercurrents brew-

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DimApur, FebruAry 15 (mexN): The Naga Peoples’ Front (NPF) has asked all government servants to desist from involving themselves in political agitation against the government “or face dire disciplinary repercussions.” A press note from the NPF central said it has observed the “involvement

perspective, Leonard Aier opined that whether the people like it or not, the Chief Minister cannot step down from his chair when he has a majority. Nor can President’s Rule be imposed in such scenario. Citing a ruling of the Supreme Court, Aier said a nine-member apex court bench in 1994 ruled that, “a situation of maladministration in a state where a duly constituted ministry enjoying majority support in the assembly is in office would not amount to failure of constitutional machinery.” “Imposition of President’s rule in such a situaDue process of tion will be extraneous to the rule of law the purpose for which the Speaking from a legal power under Article 356 ing in our society at this juncture,” Deithono Nakhro said. Nakhro a former Editor and member, State Commission for Protection of Child Rights, feels the entire situation has exposed a government dangerously out of touch with the people. The situation having reached this point involving the unnecessary tragic deaths, I do not see any resolution except for the government to exercise all the wisdom it can muster and make the right move, whatever it may be, so that normalcy can return and healing can begin, she added.

the chair of Chief Minister and bail out the party from the present situation. After the meeting at the residence of the NPF party president, which continued past 11 pm, the legislators reportedly went to the residence of the CM again to reportedly ask him to make way for a new leader to take his place. What transpired at the final meeting with Zeliang however could not be ascertained at the time of filing of this report. One thing appears to be clear. Amid the mounting pressure, the legislators want Zeliang to resign. The source pointed out that the first priority was for Zeliang to resign. Who will be the next CM can be decided in the coming days, he added. There have been reports since the last couple of days of NPF legislators carrying out a signature campaign for the incumbent CM to resign. Sources from CMO had played down the reports of Zeliang relinquishing his chair on moral grounds and said the entire process of reaffirmation of faith by legislators have been misinterpreted, and asserted there was no such move for change in leadership.

has been conferred. It was made indubitably clear by the constitution framers this power is not meant to be exercised for the purpose of securing good government,” the SC had said. Senior Advocate Akito Zhimomi felt that the entire protest of the JCC and NTAC had started on the wrong premises. According to Zhimomi, the movement started with women reservation, and then it shifted focus to resignation of the whole cabinet, the NPF president and Chief Minister and then to the resignation of the CM. Comparing it to the shifting of the narrative of the demonetization action, Zhimomi said the JCC and

NTAC leaders were shifting their agenda like the “shifting of goal post.” The advocate also questioned why the JCC had rejected the inquiry commission to probe on the circumstance of two youth killed allegedly during police firing if they blamed the CM for their deaths. “No one should be condemned without due process of law. Apparently the JCC does not want this due process,” Zhimomi said. Terming the demands of the JCC for the CM to step down as unreasonable, Zhimomi said be it the JCC or the State Government, in a democracy, there should be a due process of the rule of law.

NTAC to hold public rally on Feb 17 change.org petition seeks naga KohimA, FebruAry 15 (mexN): The Nagaland Tribes Action Committee (NTAC) Kohima has announced that it will be organizing a Public Rally at Kohima on Friday, February 17 to express the demand of the people for stepping down of TR Zeliang from the chair of the Chief Minister of Nagaland. The Rally will be held at the Old MLA Hostel Junction, Kohima at 11:00 am, and the NTAC, Kohima has requested all the Tribal Hohos, public and all well wishers to participate and extend support for the ‘valuable cause of the Nagas’. The rally will be followed by the next ‘Plan of Action’ i.e., ‘fast unto death’, informed the NTAC. The NTAC held a meeting with PB Acharya, Governor of Nagaland earlier during the day, where it submitted another representation to the Governor on the complete breakdown of the constitutional

machinery in Nagaland. The 8–point representation reminded the Governor of his assurance to the delegation of NTAC, Kohima on February 3 to take action as per the Constitution to punish the wrong doer, which has not been acted upon yet. “The Chief Minister TR Zeliang, instead of listening to the voice of the people and stepping down paving way for normalcy, continues to be stubborn and adamant basing on the numerical support of the legislators who are kept in his captivity within the premises of the State’s Chief Minister’s official residence,” stated the NTAC in their representation. It also expressed their indignation over the failure of the legislators and their inability to make decisions which has caused much suffering to the public. “We modestly implore to remind you of the enormity of negligence of the elected people’s represen-

tatives who obstinately and constantly are congregating with the Chief Minister in his official residence all these while without discharging their Constitutional duties as questionable in the eyes of law and demands curative measure,” added the NTAC.

Nagaland Gov calls for

all party meeting today The Nagaland State Governor has convened a meeting of leaders of all political parties in the state on February 16 at Raj Bhavan to discuss the prevailing situation in the State. During his meeting with the 14 member NTAC delegation, the Governor urged the NTAC to meet the CM and the ruling DAN Chairman to discuss and resolve the situation. “The dialogue is important and you should be in a position to assert your demands logically to the Chief Minister and DAN Chairman,” he said.

NPF: Some govt servants are funding the agitation

Threatens with disciplinary repercussions

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DeaDlock continues in nagalanD Morung Express News

Halt. Where are you going? Is that a government issued scoote- you. Are you carrying your driving lincense, Adhaar card, PAN card, electric bill. NO, we dont recognize govts IDs.

A Di Maria special as PSG thrash Barca

and participation of some government servants in the ongoing agitation imposed by some few individuals posing as volunteers of JCC and NTAC.” It further alleged that “some of the government servants are even funding the agitation which is unbecoming of government employees.” The party, it stated will submit a report on this issue to the government “demanding that stern action be taken against those involved

(government servants) in the protest.” The NPF also alleged that the “ring leaders” of the agitation have “instructed the tribal Hohos to collect money from various individuals from their own respective communities/ tribes.” “This initiative is nothing but a cover-up to show that they are clean and are not being patronised. This is how this so-called JCC and NTAC have been fooling the people of Nagaland thus far,” the NPF stated.

It further alleged that there had been meetings personal contact “between JCC and few politicians who are out of power now,” before the January 31 incident in Dimapur. “These suspicions are being proved right ‘day by day’ as the activities and the strategies adopted by the JCC appear to be having direct nexus between the agitating group and the those self-vested politicians who are all out to topple the present ministry,” the NPF added.

women’s political participation

DimApur, FebruAry 15 (mexN): A petition started on Change.org has urged the Indian Government to facilitate a peaceful process for Naga women’s political participation. Facilitate the Nagaland Government to uphold the rule of law and implement the 33% reservation as per the binding order of the Supreme Court and resume the Urban Local Body (ULB) election procedure and schedule a date at the earliest, while ensuring the safety of the women candidates and voters, it appealed. The petition seeking support for ‘33% reservation for women in Nagaland’ will be delivered to the Prime Minister of India, Chief Minister of Nagaland, the Naga Hoho, Joint Coordination Committee (JCC), Nagaland Tribes Action Committee (NTAC), Nagaland State Commission for Women and the National Human Rights Commission. Copies will also go to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), UN Women: United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, Commission on the Status of Women (UN), Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP), International Work Group on Indigenous Affairs (IWGIA), National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (India) and Naga Peoples Movement for Human Rights. This has come amidst a statewide bandh imposed by the JCC and NTAC that were first protesting 33% reservation of seats for women in ULBs in Nagaland State citing customary laws and Article 371-A, and are now calling for the resignation of Chief Minister TR Zeliang following the death of three people. The petition urged the setting up of a Citizen Inquiry Committee consisting of women’s rights activists, lawyers, academics, civil and political rights organisations, policy makers and citizens to investigate the

The above picture has been used in the Change.org petition to make a case for gender justice in Naga society minus ifs and buts.

violence that has caused death, de- ment,” noted the petition. struction of property and immeasurThe Nagaland Government has able suffering to Naga society. decided to write to the Central Government of India demanding that Quest for gender justice Nagaland be exempted from Part IX A Pertinently, the petition, that is of the Constitution. This, the petition rapidly garnering support, stated that maintained, would push back Naga Article 371-A of the Indian Constitu- women’s quest for gender justice and tion and its provisions are “ambiguous the structural injustice they face will as to what constitutes customary law.” become even greater. “Given that Naga men and their Thus, the petitioners urged the tribal bodies have complete control decision makers to “refrain from over both the definition and exercise granting exemption to the State of of what constitutes Naga customary Nagaland from Part IX A of the Conlaws, there is no room left for any de- stitution.” bate or conversation with other conGiven the present situation, the cerned persons. It has now come to a petition also urged the immediate point where customary laws are being restoration of law and order to enused to reinforce patriarchy and legiti- sure safety for students returning to mize violence, to subject and silence schools and those who have board women and to shut down any space exams, as well as to immediately befor gender justice,” the petition cited. stow access to internet and repeal the It thus called for support to Naga social media ban. women’s organisations and solidarChange.org is an open web platity groups to “undertake public de- form currently used by people in 196 bate and discussion on customary counties to start campaigns, mobilaw in Nagaland and how it can in- lize supporters and work with decicorporate women’s rights, including sion makers to drive solutions. With their active political participation.” 180,778,754 people taking to the Refrain from granting exemption platform to affect change across geoIn the face of majoritarian oppo- graphical and cultural borders, there sition, “extreme measures are being have been 20,659 victorious cases of proposed by the Nagaland govern- positive change.


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thursDAY 16•02•2017

NAGALAND

THE MORUNG EXPRESS

Bandh’s effect on exams evoke mixed responses Morung Express News

Mokokchung | February 15

A group of students returning after exams walk past bandh volunteers and road obstructions at Khermahal Police Point, Dimapur on Wednesday. (Morung Photo)

Three young girls ride a Scotty back home after appearing their examination in Dimapur on Wednesday. (Morung Photo)

As the state entered the third day of indefinite strike, students appearing the High School Leaving Certificate (HSLC) examination and teachers had mixed opinions on how the bandh was affecting them in their studies as well as Students appearing HSLC exam in Kohima on Wednesday. their state of mind. Shilu, a student of Chil(Morung Photo) dren School Mokokchung, opined that the bandh is not affecting him much but it has only created tension, stress and worry to his parents making his mom lengthen her do’s and don’ts list for him during the exams. The teachers of Mayangnokcha Hr. Sec School were happy that at least the bandh on the internet is making the students concentrate more on their studies and making them keep in touch with their books without wasting their time on the social netGroup of students after appearing HSLC examination at St working sites. However a student Mary's School, Padum Pukhuri on Wednesday. (Morung Photo)

HSLC students appearing their exam at Mayangnokcha Hr. Sec. School on February 15. (Morung Photo)

complained that without internet it has become difficult for them to refer to certain topics and notes and also added that they cannot share notes and ideas with their friends conveniently. Another hitch which the students face, especially the science stream students, is that they cannot fill their online forms for entrance exams to colleges and institutions outside of Nagaland with the last date almost ending.

Parents plying from nearby villages like Ungma, Khensa, Mekuli and Yimyu dropping their children to different exam centres said that the bandh has created unnecessary tension not only in their minds but also in the minds of their children and it is directly or indirectly affecting them in their studies. Yanger, a father of two young boys who are both appearing the HSLC and HSSLC, is not very happy

about the bandh. He says, “I have to go out for my duty early in the morning and the moment I go out, my two sons are also out. I should be guiding them during the exams but instead I am neglecting them.” Another parent, whose boy stays in a hostel, complained that the bandh has made it difficult for her to meet her son. “I would at least want to meet and say a little prayer with him together but the bandh has made it difficult”. On a very positive note, Tali, a teacher at Mayangnokcha Hr. Sec. School, said that personally for him, it all depends on the parents on how they manage the family and how they let their children be aware of the situation and be prepared accordingly. The number of students appearing HSLC exams in three centres under Mokokchung is 1046; Mangkolemba has 92 students while Changtongya and Tuli records 109 and 211 respectively.

State-wide Bandh to continue

Volunteers including womenfolk at Chekiye Village gate on February 15.

The only functioning railway station in Nagaland wears a deserted look due to the ongoing indefinite State-wide bandh. (Morung Photo)

DIMAPUR, FEBRUARY 15 (MExN): For the third day in a row, Nagaland came to a standstill for most of the day, with the JCC-NTAC bandh being observed state-wide. While the bandh will continue as earlier in most districts, it was informed that there will be relaxation on public movement in Kohima and Phek starting February 16. Bandh relaxations in Kohima, Phek The Angami Youth Organisation (AYO) while informing that the 9:00am to 3:00pm bandh would continue in Kohima, however stated that the list of exemptions has been extended. A press note from the AYO informed that the exceptions include: fire service, hospitals, SP office & police stations, administration, banks, NBSE and any exam related establishments, NPSC, students appearing exam, para-military, power sub-stations, KMC and colony/ wards sanitary vehicles, business establishments & eateries, schools and colleges both private & govt, public transportation, central offices (postal services, accountant general, telecom & BSNL), PHE field staff for water supply, private vehicles, pedestrians, and media. The restrictions on government vehicles and government offices remain. The same was also notified by the NTAC, stating that these exemptions are solely for Kohima. The Chakhesang Youth Front (CYF) partially lifted bandh on public movement and its related daily activities due to ongoing NBSE examination in Phek district. A press note from the CYF however informed that all state government offices will remain sealed and government registered vehicles are strictly restricted from plying. Bandh relaxations for CAN The Nagaland Tribes Action Committee (NTAC) has informed that the members of Catholic Association of Nagaland (CAN) will be on the road beginning from February 17 travelling by various means of transportation, from various destinations and in various groups to and fro attending the Priestly Ordination of Deacon Obed Yimchunger on February 18 and Thanksgiving Holy Mass on February 19 at St. Paul’s Parish campers Pungro and St Alphonsa’s Church Vongwa, Kiphire respectively. Therefore, all volunteers on duty under the guidance of NTAC, JCC as well as tribal organisations in their respective districts or at any location are directed to ensure that “no inconvenience is caused to the above mentioned party/parties and give smooth movement passage. Also all members of the concerned teams are advised to carry copy of programme or any other such documents to substantiate the purpose of undertaking the journey along with identification to avoid “inconveniences and misunderstandings.” It is also advised to make multiple copies (photocopy) of this movement permit for all concerned teams.

Bandh to continue as before in other districts Zunheboto: The Sumi Hoho meanwhile informed that the bandh in Zunheboto would continue indefinitely and asked the public to bear with the inconveniences. A press note from the Sumi Hoho said that the bandh on February 15 was held peacefully, with the NBSE exams being allowed to go ahead unhindered. It meanwhile assured full cooperation to examination centres and stated that “all possible care is taken to ensure that no form of harassment or fear psychosis is meted out to students and officials involved in the conduct of the examinations.” Tuensang: The Chang Tribal Council and the Tuensang Village Citizen Union informed that bandh in the Tuensang area would continue till further notice. A joint statement from the two organisations further informed that vehicles entering and exiting from Tuensang town during bandh hours will not be allowed “except on serious case.” Wokha: In Wokha the bandh will continue on February 15 from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. Dimapur: In Dimapur, as well the bandh will be imposed on February 15 from 9:00am to 4:00pm. Mokokchung: The Ao Senden JCC leaders today that the indefinite total bandh of Mokokchung would continue tomorrow from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm with the same conditions and exemptions. It was further informed that the ‘Car Pass’ issued earlier now stood invalid and that ‘Movement Permit’ for emergency cases would be issued by Ao Senden office. The Ao Senden further warned against the opening of government offices, and cautioned uniformed personnel not to use their authorized vehicles for personal duties. The Ao Senden also asked vehicles ferrying students to exam centers to remain at the school premises adding that such vehicles will not be allowed to ply without students aboard. Ao Senden JCC also warned that some ‘intelligence agencies’ were masquerading as volunteers and relaying information to their higher ups. This, it warned, amounted to treachery and that such individuals shall be doing so at their own risk. A press note from the Ao Senden informed that volunteers from all wards, land owner villages, all six ranges of Mokokchung as well as Eastern Naga People’s Union Mokokchung and Sumi Hoho Mokokchung participated in imposing the bandh on Wednesday. Despite the bandh, the NBSE exams were conducted smoothly. A total of 481 students appeared for the exams at MGHSS, 338 students at EDHSS and 211 students at Dilong GHS. Further, Ao Senden JCC convenor A. Bendangnukshi Jamir informed all well wishers to assemble at Police Point at 6:00 am to attend the prayer fellowship called by the pastors of the 21 churches in and around Mokokchung town. He also thanked the various groups and individuals who have been sponsoring refreshment for volunteers during the bandh.

Volunteers take out procession at plaza point junction in Dimapur demanding the resignation of the Nagaland Chief Minister during the state-wide infinite bandh on February 15. (Morung Photo)

Large number of volunteers, including women and youth from the Eastern Nagaland Peoples' Union (ENPU) Dimapur during the bandh at City Tower, Dimapur on February 15. (Morung Photo)

The main town appear deserted at Zunheboto due to the ongoing state-wide indefinite bandh called by the JCC and NTAC.

Women and men volunteers enforcing bandh at the popularly called ‘Imli Khas’ junction near DABA in Dimapur on Wednesday. The junction was being manned by volunteers for the first time on Wednesday since the indefinite bandh started by JCC/NTAC. (Morung Photo)

An auto rickshaw with the label ‘exam duty’ waits for the students appearing the HSLC examination at Don Bosco School, Riverbelt Colony, Dimapur on February 15. (Morung Photo)

NoT IN yEArS, BUT For ToMorRoW: An elderly man amongst the host of volunteers enforcing the bandh at Mokokchung town on February 15. (Photo by Toshi Kichu)

UNITED BEyoND TrIBAL LINES: Leaders of different organizations – ENPo (Mokokchung), Mokokchung Town Sumi community (Hoho) and Gorkha Union Mokokchung – standing in unison as a mark of resentment against the present Nagaland state government. (Photo by Toshi Kichu)

Bandh volunteers relax as they look onto a fellow volunteer (not seen in picture) entertaining them over a sound system with microphone at Khermahal Police Point, Dimapur on Wednesday. (Morung Photo)

Volunteers at Naharbari, Dimapur pose with the JCC women volunteers after conducting prayer on February 15. The JCC women volunteers, since Tuesday, have been visiting various junctions and points where the volunteers are imposing the indefinite State-wide bandh called by the NTAC and JCC starting from February 13. The JCC women volunteers informed that they have been visiting the volunteers to encourage and support their effort. (Morung Photo)

Miscreants allegedly “bandh volunteers” vandalised a vegetable market called ‘Signal Saam Bazaar’ within the jurisdiction of Sub-Urban police station in Signal Basti, Dimapur on Wednesday. According to the vendors of the market, the miscreants arrived in two mobile pickup vehicles, ransacked the shops and threw away the vegetable items which were kept packed to be sold in the evening after the bandh timing was over. The vendors expressed displeasure as they suffer loss due to vandalism An elderly man walks across the road at Ko- activity by some group of miscreants. The miscreants also damaged the makeshift shops in the same location. The incident hima Town during the bandh on on Wednes- took place around 12:30 pm. (Morung Photo) day. (Morung Photo)


THURSDAY 16•02•2017

NORTH-EAST 3

THE MORUNG EXPRESS

to address election rally in Imphal Only 4 women candidates in first phase Manipur poll fray Modi State BJP rejects Irom Sharmila’s allegation Slim chance for ‘non-serious candidates' Newmai News Network Imphal | February 15

Four women candidates, including rights activist Irom Sharmila, are set to contest the upcoming first phase of Manipur assembly election which is expected to be a “candidate-centric” election considering the size of the constituencies. Social Welfare Minister and INC (Congress) candidate AK Mirabai Devi is hoping to retain Patsoi seat; former MLA and BJP candidate Nemcha Kipgen will contest from Kangpokpi (ST); Manipur National Democratic Front candidate Yumnam Romola Devi from Keishamthong; and Congress candidate L Tilotama will take on former MLA and BJP candidate O Joy and lone LJP MLA Karam Shyam in Langthabal constituency. In Manipur each constituency has over 30,000 voters, which is not a standard size comparing to that of other states and hence this election will witness “candidate-centric” polls, according to some political analysts who are closely observing the electioneering trend in the poll-bound state.

Polling will be held on March 4 in 38 constituencies - 11 in Imphal East including Jiribam, 13 in Imphal West, six in Bishnupur and five in Churachandpur and three in Sadar Hills. Counting of vote will take place on March 11. The small electorate is unlikely to be influenced by major issues like Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) in the Manipur polls, but they are rather likely to be candidate-centric, popularity of the candidates and money power, the analysts observed. They reiterated, “Choice of the voters is going to be purely candidate-centric and so issues are not going to dominate this election.” CM Ibobi Singh, who may rightly be called a “serious candidate”, managed to secure 82 percent vote in the last assembly election held in 2012. The maximum vote share is likely to go in favour of “serious candidates” while victory for “non-serious candidates” is a “fat chance,” the analysts added. Nominations for the first phase of Manipur polls ended yesterday. Altogether 215 candidates filed nominations for the polls amidst continuing hectic electioneering all over the state organising roadshows, meetings and door-to-door campaigning.

Ibobi chides BJP over allegations IMPHAL, FEBRUARY 15(NNN): Attacking former Congress leaders and ministers who have switched side to BJP, Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh said they are making absurd and unwarranted allegations against the Congress government. Ibobi was speaking at a flag hoisting ceremony of Congress candidate Naoroibam Ratan who is contesting the ensuing Manipur polls from Heingang where he will take on former minister and Congress strongman Nongthombam Biren of BJP. “Former Congress leaders are making funny allegations against my government. These accusations are ridiculous,” Ibobi Singh said. The state BJP has been hurling a series of charges against the Ibobi government during campaign meetings for the ensuing state assembly polls. The two-phase Manipur assembly polls are scheduled to be held on March 4 and 8.

Deputy Chief Gaikhangam and other Congress leaders were present at the event. Without naming any group, Gaikhangam said he was threatened of attack earlier. “But I personally did not face any disturbance during my recent visit to Tamenglong headquarters to file my nomination in the Deputy Commissioner’s office there on February 13. No one raised voice against me and my trip was peaceful. Some people who oppose me might have burnt my effigy after I returned to Imphal,” he said. The Manipur Deputry Chief Minister blamed the NSCN (IM), the BJP and the United Naga Council (UNC) for the ongoing economic blockade. The blockade has been continuing for over three months on national highways connecting Manipur with the rest of the world over new district creation issue.

Exorbitant petrol prices force Protests erupt across Assam candidates to campaign on foot over Jorhat girls harassment IMPHAL, FEBRUARY 15 (PTI): With the state reeling under the impact of an economic blockade since last November and petrol selling at Rs 200250 per litre, the candidates of different political parties were forced to go on a door-to-door campaign on foot. The state is under an indefinite economic blockade launched by the United Naga Council (UNC) since November 1, last year in protest against the creation of seven new districts bifurcating the existing ones. The supply of essential commodities, including fuel, to Manipur was se-

verely hit due to the blockade on NH2 (via Dimapur) and NH 37 (via Jiribam) -the two lifelines of the state. As most of the petrol pumps were facing severe shortage of fuels, they were being sold in the black market at an exorbitant price of Rs 200-250 per litre. Political parties were compelled to use minimum number of vehicles for the purpose of campaigning. "Our candidates in most of the places were campaigning on foot. Earlier, we used to do it on cars or open jeeps. But this time there is a huge scarcity of petrol/diesel, and the pric-

es are exorbitant," a state BJP leader said. This was echoed by both ruling Congress and other opposition parties like the People's Resurgence and Justice Alliance (PRJA) party of rights activist Irom Sharmila and Trinamool Congress. The Congress, however, said that the economic blockade was the a result of a covert pact between the BJP and the UNC. "There is a fuel shortage, but the BJP being in power at the Centre can't shake off its responsibility. They are trying to reap dividends out of this blockade," a Congress leader said.

‘Will not tolerate any attempt to curtail freedom of writers’ AGARTALA, FEBRUARY 15 (PTI): Tripura will not tolerate any attempt to curtail the freedom of writers and publishers and any kind of protest in Agartala book fair, state Information and Cultural Affairs minister Bhanulal Saha said today. Saha’s comments came after a group of about 20 youths forced entry with a national flag in a stall yesterday in the book fair and asked the sellers not to sell

a book titled ‘Kashmir’ by Siddhartha Guha Roy and published in 1998 by Kolkata-based Progressive Publishers. The protesters identified themselves as members of Vivekananda Sena, the police said. Police personnel from an assistance booth inside the book fair ground and government officials rushed to the spot and the protestors left the place af-

ter their intervention. “We believe in freedom of speech and freedom of writers. We will not stand any instance of intolerance,” the minister said. Condemning the incident, Gautam Das, vicepresident of Tripura Sanskriti Samannay Kendra, a cultural organisation, said “Agartala book fair stepped into its 35th years and we have never come across such incident…”

GUWAHATI, FEBRUARY 15 (PTI): Protests erupted across Assam, including Guwahati, on a girls Facebook post about allegedly being molested in Jorhat town by a group of motorbike riding youths and a state ministers reaction to her posting. Public meetings, rallies and signature campaigns were held against helmet wearing youths allegedly groping, harassing and verbally abusing the girl in Jorhat last week. The girl last week put up a Facebook post about her harassment which went viral, arousing shock, concern and anger among students, womens organisations and others. The matter had come up for discussion in the Assembly

on February 13 when legislators raised the issue. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary identified the girl as an SFI activist and said she should have lodged a police complaint instead of writing it in Facebook. The girls harassment and the ministers remarks together sparked further protests today in Jorhat, Golaghat and Sonitpur districts, besides Guwahati, where eminent citizens took part in rallies that demanded the ministers resignation for "making such an irresponsible statement". Assam DGP Mukesh Sahay has said the girl has not lodged any complaint with the police but the force registered a suo motu FIR and investigations are on.

Mizo Min resigns over admin controversy AIZAWL, FEBRUARY 15 (PTI): Mizoram Labour minister Lalrinmawia Ralte today submitted his resignation to Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla over the controversy of sending 32 Mizo students to Nalanda Institute of Advanced Studies in Kolkata, which was declared as a fake institution. The Chief Minister's Office (CMO) officials said Lal Thanhawla was yet to take a call on Ralte's resignation.

The opposition parties held Ralte and Mizoram Youth Commission (MYC) chairman T Sangkunga responsible for the plight of 32 Mizo students sent by the state government to Nalanda Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS) in Kolkata to study. The state government has also suspended two officials - former Director of the LE and IT Rotluanga and former Superintendent of MYC over the issue.

Nagas in Manipur celebrates seed sowing festival Newmai News Network Senapati | February 15

Nagas in Manipur celebrated Lui-Ngai-Ni, the seed sowing festival, in the district headquarters of Ukhrul, Senapati, Tamenglong and Senapati under the common theme, "“Towards a Culture of Peace”. However, compared to the past years, this year's Lui-Ngai-Ni was celebrated in a small way due to the prevailing situation. Usually, the United Naga Council (UNC) organises the Naga seed sowing festival at a state level. Since the UNC is pre-occupied with the district creation issue this year's Lui-Ngai-Ni was celebrated by the respective tribe bodies in the district headquarters In Senapati district, the seed sowing festival was celebrated at Katomei Village community hall. Organized by Naga People’s Organization (NPO), the district level Lui-Ngai-Ni was graced by Autonomous District Council (ADC) Chairman ML Markson as chief guest and ADC ViceChairman T.John Hingba, as guest of honor in the presence of ADC members, Naga frontal bodies, local bodies, village leaders, church leaders and dignitaries. The Chief of Naga Taphou Village Tailu gave blessing of new seeds.

A cultural dance is being presented at Lui-Ngai-Ni celebration in Chandel on February 15

John Hingba said that peace is vital in human life. While highlighting the prevailing situation in Manipur and Nagaland, the guest of honor said that as Lui-Ngai-Ni is celebrated, "let the seeds of peace and change be sown to promote and prevails in our society in days to come". He noted that, such celebration brings a message of sowing positive and human values of love and peace rather than just mere merry making or observations. Lui-Ngai-Ni is one of a well preserved and practice culture of Nagas in Manipur till today, said Chairman ML Markson. "As a peace loving people, we, the Nagas should wake up and support the idea of ‘Unity and togetherness among the people. In doing so, progress and development will be the fruits of our struggle. Coming

down heavily on the Manipur Government while accusing it "for the creation of the prevailing situation in Manipur", Markson expressed disapproval upon the creation of 7 districts by Government of Manipur "sans the concern and knowledge" of the Naga people. " Varied items and performances from different tribes like blowing of traditional horns from Poumai Naga tribe, making of traditional fire by Mao Naga tribe, traditional action song and folk song from Maram, Zeliangrong and Thangal tribes added more colors to the programme Various bodies from UNC, ANSAM, NWU, NPO, SDSA, NPMHR and Presidents of all the tribes, student leaders of Senapati District and Town Committees, Senapati, village authorities and leaders

from different neighboring villages attended the programme where Kh. Tailu, Chief of Taphou Naga carried out the traditional blessing of Seeds. In Chandel district, the Lui-Ngai-Ni was organised at at Maha Union Government Higher Secondary School's Ground, Japhou. DIG of 26 Sector Assam Rifles Brig. AS Chauhan, Chandel Naga People's Organisation (CNPO) President Ws. Kanral Anal, CNPO, Ex-President Ng. Gilbert, and Naga People's Movement for Human Rights (South) Convenor Gina Shangkham graced the occasion as the chief guest, functional president and guests of honour respectively. The festival witnessed a large number of people attired in traditional dresses. Chief guest of the festival, Brig. AS Chauhan unfurled

the Lui-Ngai-Ni flag which was followed by blowing of traditional horns. Beside invoking the Almighty's blessing for bountiful harvest, showcasing of cultural dances, folk songs from different tribes of the Nagas and presenting gifts to tribe leaders were the main highlights of the celebration. Speaking at the celebration, Brig. AS Chauhan told that the festival reflected the rich cultural heritage, traditions and unique identity of the Naga people. It also embodies the spirit of oneness and brotherhood, he added. While wishing for a good harvest in the coming year, the Assam Rifles Brigedier also wished that the festival "may rekindle the glorious traditions, values and cultures for prosperity of the society". Speaking as the functional president, CNPO President WS Kanral Anal said that Lui Ngai also urged the people to preserve and promote the rich cultural heritage which were "handed down by our forefathers". The Zeliangrong Baudi organised the occasion in Tamenglong district at its office. A sizeable number of people participated the occasion. In Ukhrul, the Tangkhul Naga Long (TNL) organised the occasion.

Newmai News Network Imphal | February 15

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit poll-bound Manipur on February 25 to address an election rally at the historic Kangla Fort in Imphal, said BJP MP and Manipur in-charge Prahlad Singh Patel here on Wednesday. Patel informed this to media while releasing a video album for BJP election campaign at the party office here. He said Modi will address an election rally at Kangla Fort as scheduled. BJP has fielded candidates for all 60 assembly seats of the state in the upcoming polls which are set to take place in two phases on March 4 and 8. The main contenders in the polls will be the ruling Congress and BJP. In a media query, Prahlad Singh Patel rejected the report that the BJP had offered Rs 36 crore and a party ticket to rights activist Irom Sharmila. The iconic hunger striker had reportedly alleged recently

that the saffron party offered her a ticket along with Rs 36 crore to use in her campaign, which triggered a controversy. “The accusation was a political propaganda spread by the Congress. The matter has been brought to the notice of Election Commission,” Patel said. Sharmila will take on the three-time Congress Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh in Thoubal in the polls. She will contest

for the seat on the ticket of People’s Resurgence and Justice Alliance (PRJA). Sharmila had said that a few months back a state BJP leader approached her to make the offer which she had refused. The Iron Lady of Manipur ended her 16-year-old fast, she had launched to demand repeal of Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, to join electoral politics and continue her crusade against AFSPA.

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ATTENTION

This is for your kind information that in view of the Indefinite Bandh, Consultants will be available in the OPD from today (16/02/2017) between 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM. Day OPD will stand cancelled until the situation normalises. 24 hours Emergency Services will continue. Dimapur JCC bandh: Distribution of volunteers

The Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) today informed that areas have been designated to villages/colonies (as given in the table) to enforce the ongoing bandh in Dimapur. The areas have been designated by the “apex tribal bodies” and JCC taking into consideration the convenience of the volunteers, stated a press release from Media Cell, JCC. JCC apologized if any colony/village has been missed out and also requested to all those villages and colonies not mentioned in the list to find the designated point closest to their areas. Further, JCC thanked all the women organizations and individuals who have supported JCC with their prayers and even financially. Informing all that the bandh has been a success throughout the State as of now, JCC maintained it is firm in its resolve that it will continue with the bandh till the time Chief Minister TR Zeliang resigns. Designated Points Sub-Jail junction

Designated Colonies/Villages Aoyimkum, Nepali Kashiram, Phevima, Indisen, Mon Bosti, Senjum Village, Rilan Village DC Court point Duncan Bosti, Oriental Colony, Lotha Colony, Kyong Colony, Viola Colony. DC office Lengrijan, Razaphe, Industrial Colony, Hill View Colony, Aokong Colony, Aoyimsen, Chotu Lengri PWD junction Landmark Colony, Midland, Residency Colony, Forest Colony, Supply Colony, Fellowship Colony. Dhobinala junction Thahekhu Village, Kevijau, Lhomithi Village, Signal Angami, Metha Colony, Xuvihe Colony, Y. Zhimo Colony, Sematila, Naga Gaon, K. Sachu Colony, Rio Colony (Sewak), Signal Colony, Zeliangrong Village, Forest Plantation Colony. City Tower point Nepali Bosti, Notun Bosti, River Belt Colony, Churches Colony, Middle Point Colony, Nyamo Lotha Colony, LRC Colony, Boro Lingri, NST Colony, Colliery Colony. Deluxe Point Netaji Colony, Medical Colony, Chakhesang Colony, Erose Lane, Railway Bazar Colony, Neisatou colony, New Market, Marwari Patti, Police Colony. Hotel Tragopan point Khermahal, Public Ground Colony, Zakeisatuo Colony, Kulhoupunyu Colony, Island Colony, Lakeview Colony, Overbridge Colony, New Field Check Gate, ToTo Colony, Burma Camp junction Veterinary Colony, Sunrise Colony, United Naga Colony, Haralu Colony, United North Block-A, United North Block-B, Rainbow Colony, Ni-U Colony, Rangailong Colony, Rengma Colony, Walford Area Colony, Power House Colony, Chukaizu Colony, Namgalung Colony. Nagarjan point Circuit House Colony, Imkonglenden, S.M Colony, United Colony, Ura Villa Colony, Vilhume, Northern Angami Colony, Valley View Colony, Mishikito, Bank Colony, Toulozouma, Seluophe, Kuda Village. Purana Bazaar point Purana Bazar, Naharbari, Kushiabill, Padumpukhuri, East Dimapur. Padumpukhuri junction Padumpukhuri, Dobagaon, Toluvi T.K. Service junction (2 ½ Mile) DEEHA, Doragapathar Village Airport junction Kirha Thilixu, Chekiye 3rd Mile junction Diphupar junction Diphupar, DNYO Naga United, Showuba (new & old) Hoyim, and all 4th Mile (Central Jail junction) villages beyond Showuba and under Nuiland sub division Model Village, Sugar Mill, United Colony, Ikishe Green Park junction (5th Mile) Village, United Village. Tenyiphe I & II, Virozouma, Vidima, Urra Village, Tenyiphe (7th Mile) Pimla, Razhaphe, Shoxuvi, 7th Mile, Model Village. th Sovima Khrizephe, Sodzulhou, 6th Mile Model Sovima (6 Mile) Village, Seithekie B Chumukedima Town, Chumukedima Village, Chumukedima 2nd Gate Chumukedima A Village Patkai Seithekema (A)(B)(C), Lotha Colony, Seithekie Old


4

ThursDAY 16•02•2017

Business

THE MORUNG EXPRESS

Banks fight for $40 million fee pot in advising on Vodafone India merger HONG KONG/MUMBAI, FeBrUAry 15 (reUters): BofA Merrill Lynch, UBS and Standard Chartered are among banks scrambling to win advisory roles in a potential merger involving Vodafone in India, sources said, as they chase a rare big deals-related payday in the country. Britain’s Vodafone Group said last month it was in talks to merge its Indian subsidiary with Idea Cellular in an all-share deal. The merger will create India’s largest mobile operator with about $12 billion in sales. The banks picked to advise on the deal could end up sharing as much as $40 million, according to Freeman Consulting. That is about 10 percent of the total investment banking fee pool last year in India, where advisory fees are among the lowest when compared to other major global markets. Vodafone is in talks with Merrill Lynch, UBS and M&A boutique firm Rothschild for adviso-

itya Birla conglomerate, is likely to rope in StanChart and some Indian boutiques to work on the transaction, said the sources. They said the talks for hiring the advisers have not been completed and the list could change. Morgan Stanley, StanChart, UBS and Rothschild declined to comment, while BofA Merrill Lynch, Vodafone and Idea did not respond to a request for comment. The sources declined to be named as procedures related to the merger talks are not public. In India, total fee earned from investment banking services, including M&A, equity and bonds, fell to $462.6 million in 2016, from $491 million a year ago, according to Thomson Reuters data, as equity capital market volume nearly halved. The $40 million estimated fee pot in the potential Vodafone India deal is small when compared to the payouts from multi-billion M&A deals in advanced markets. But it is big by standards in India, where M&A advisory fees

A customer enters a Vodafone store in new delhi. (REUTERS Photo)

ry roles, three sources with direct knowledge of the development, told Reuters. Merrill and UBS had earlier been hired by Vodafone on a planned Indian listing. Mor-

gan Stanley has already been picked for the advisory role in the proposed merger, the sources added. Idea Cellular, part of India’s metals to financial services Ad-

Apple regains top global spot after 8 sluggish quarters

tend to be 25-50 percent lower compared to the United States, Hong Kong and Singapore, as per industry estimates. Foreign bankers in India privately grumble about the lack of a substantial number of M&A and equity underwriting deals worth more than $1 billion, making it harder for them to justify costs to their headquarters. As a result, all large private investment banking deals see tough competition for winning advisory mandates, with global investment banks also vying with a host of local and well-connected boutique banks. About half a dozen foreign banks had been roped in last year to manage Vodafone’s highly-anticipated IPO in India, which was set to raise as much as $3 billion. But with the Vodafone unit now in merger talks with listed Idea, that IPO plan is now off the table, and so is the rare opportunity to earn as much as $60 million in underwriting fees, the sources told Reuters.

ISRO is hiring: Earn upto Nokia 3310 set to make a comeback, say reports DelHI, FeBrUAry 15 Rs 56000 per month New (HINDUstAN tIMes): The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has invited applications from eligible candidates for the post of Scientist/ Engineer SC. The interested candidates can apply latest by March 7.

government rules.

Selection procedure: The candidates will be selected on the basis of their performance in the written test conducted on May 7 at 12 centres, i.e. Ahmedabad, BengaluVacancy details: ru, Bhopal, Chandigarh, ChenTotal posts: 87 nai, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Name of the post: Scien- Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai, tist/Engineer SC in level 10 of New Delhi and Thiruvananpay matrix to the young gradu- thapuram. ate in the following engineerPay scale: ing disciplines: The candidates will get • Electronics: 42 a consolidated salary of Rs • Mechanical: 36 56,100 per month. • Computer Science: 9 How to apply: Eligibility criteria: The interested candidates Educational qualification: should apply through the offiThe candidates should have cial website, isac.gov.in acquired a Bachelor’s degree in Application fee: Engineering (BE) or Bachelor’s An application fee of Rs 100 degree in Technology (BTech) form a recognised university or needs to be paid by the candidates for the registration proceinstitute. dure through online banking. Age limit: Important dates: The maximum age of • Commencement of online the candidates should be 35 years as on March 7. Age re- application: February 15 • Last date to apply: March 7 laxation would be provided • Date of an exam: May 5 to the candidates as per the

Nokia 3310 needs very little introduction. Dead simple design, a nearly indestructible build and a battery that lasted for days made it one of the most popular phones in the world in early 2000. HMD Global Oy, the Finnish company that has the rights to use Nokia’s brand on mobile phones, may be looking to cash on this nostalgia by bringing back the iconic device. Renowned phone leaker Evan “Evleaks” Blass has reported that HMD is preparing a handset that shares the 3310 name. Nokia went on to sell 126 million units of the device. The phone has gained cult status in recent years with users yearning for some of that legendary hardiness in the age of delicate glass-screened smartphones. Like its beloved predecessor, the device is reportedly a feature phone that focuses on the absolute basics. It will cost €59 (roughly Rs 4,200) and compete directly with the growing number of lowend Android smartphones. Besides the Nokia 3310, HMD is also set to reveal two mid to low-

leisure

CROSSWORD # 3859

SUDOKU

ACROSS 1. Relaxes 6. Glance over 10. Phone 14. Mete 15. Container weight 16. Buckeye State 17. Nigerian monetary unit 18. Being 19. Untidyness 20. Entwined 22. Wan 23. Fizzy drink 24. Boss 26. Indian dress 30. Help 31. Hearing organ 32. Again 33. Accomplishment 35. Insipid 39. Female deity 41. Japanese flower arranging 43. Fertile area in a desert 44. Part of a comparison 46. Fluff 47. Feline 49. In the past 50. If not 51. Condition 54. “Do ___ others...” 56. Baby buggy 57. Sculptural relief 63. Attraction 64. Foot digits 65. Concerns 66. Computer symbol 67. “Your majesty” 68. Exclamation of regret 69. Canvas dwelling 70. Large N. Amer. deer (plural) 71. Hazards DOWN 1. Hindu princess 2. Distinctive flair 3. Narrow opening 4. Ripped

Answer Number # 3853

std code: 03862

BeNGAlUrU, FeBrUAry 15 (IANs): India ranked fourth on the list of top target countries for Web Application Attacks and 10th in the list of “Global Web Application Attack Source Countries” in the fourth quarter of 2016, a new report revealed on Wednesday. According to the report by content delivery network service Akamai Technologies, the Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) Attacks -- greater than 100 Gbps -- increased 140 per cent year-over-year from the fourth quarter of 2015. DDoS is a type of attack where multiple compromised systems are used to target a single system causing a Denial of Service (DoS) attack. The largest DDoS attack in fourth quarter last year which peaked at 517 Gbps came from Spike -- a non-IoT botnet that has been around for more than two years and seven of the 12 mega attacks -those with traffic greater than 100 Gbps -- were directly attributed to Mirai. “As we saw with the Mirai botnet attacks during the third quarter, unsecured Internet of Things (IoT) devices continued to drive significant DDoS attack traffic,” Martin McKeay, senior security advocate and senior editor, ‘State of the Internet/Security Report’, said in a statement. The number of IP addresses involved in DDoS attacks grew significantly fourth quarter of 2016, despite DDoS attack totals dropping overall. The US sourced the most IP addresses participating in DDoS attacks - more than 180,000. “With the predicted exponential proliferation of these devices, threat agents will have an expanding pool of resources to carry out attacks, validating the need for companies to increase their security investments,” McKeay added. TaHaMZaM

std code: 03871

(formerly senapati)

Police station Fire Brigade

222246 222491

5. Celebrities 6. Most dependable 7. Series of small waterfalls 8. Backside 9. Sewing tool 10. Corresponding 11. Coming up 12. Fine thread 13. Unsuccessful person 21. A lot 25. Overhang 26. Palm starch 27. Dwarf buffalo 28. Fishing poles 29. Accusation of wrongdoing 34. Medical analyses 36. Bucket 37. Hotels 38. A romantic meeting 40. Brother of Jacob 42. Nautical miles 45. A tunic of chain mail 48. Sleeping sickness carrier 51. Divided 52. Armistice 53. Moses’ brother 55. Academy award 58. Drudgery 59. French Sudan 60. Historical periods 61. Make out (slang) 62. Sounds of disapproval

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ABoUt ALLow ALonG AnnUAL APPLY ArrIVes Assent AwArd BArGAIn BeFore BreAK BrIeF CLeAr CLose CoUrt enter eXCePtIon GIVen GoVernMent HUnter InForM

India faces high web application attack risk: Report

The Nokia brand made a comeback in January with HMD Global launching the Nokia 6 smartphone via China’s e-commerce website JD.com. The phone was launched at a price of 1,699 CNY and saw an unprecedented 1.4 million registrations by interested buyers. HMD is holding its launch event on February 26 in Barcelona ahead of the Mobile World Congress. DiMaPUR

Simple Rules - Fill in the grid so that every row, every column, and every 3x3 box contains the digits 1 through 9.

Game Number # 3854

end Android smartphones - the Nokia 5 and Nokia 3. The Nokia 5, is rumoured to come with a low-end Snapdragon 430 chipset, and a 5.2inch display at 720p, 2GB of RAM, the camera will have a 12 megapixels sensor. HMD is planning to hit the €199 price point (roughly Rs 14,000). Nokia 3 will be a no frills, entry level Android and initially go for €149 (roughly Rs 10,500).

MUMBAI, FeBrUAry 15 (IANs): As global smartphone sales to end-users hit 432 million units in the fourth quarter of 2016 -- a seven per cent increase over the like period in 2015 -- Apple finally leapfrogged past Samsung after 8 sluggish quarters to secure the top spot, a report said on Wednesday. Riding on the success of iPhone 7 and Apple Watch, the Cupertino-based company recently announced an all-time record revenue of $78.4 billion for the first quarter of 2017 that ended on December 31. International sales accounted for 64% of the quarter’s revenue. Overall, smartphone sales to end-users totalled nearly 1.5 billion units in 2016, an increase of 5% from 2015, said the report from the market research firm Gartner. “It has taken 8 quarters for Apple to regain the top spot in global smartphone vendor ranking but the positions of the two leaders have never been so close, with only 256,000 units difference,” said Anshul Gupta, Research Director, Gartner, in a statement. Samsung’s smartphone sales declined 8% in the fourth quarter of 2016 and its share dropped by 2.9 percentage points year-on-year. “The withdrawal of the Galaxy Note 7 left a gap in its large-screen phone range. Samsung also faced growing competition in the mid tier and entry-level smartphone segments from Huawei, Oppo, BBK and Gionee, which all grew their sales each quarter,” added Gupta. Huawei, Oppo and BBK accounted for 21.3% of smartphones sold to end users worldwide during the fourth quarter of 2016, an increase of 7.3 percentage points year on year. Offering high-performance, front-facing cameras and fast charging smartphones led Oppo to maintain the top position in China during the fourth quarter of 2016. In the smartphone operating system market, Google’s Android extended its lead by capturing 82 per cent of the total market in the fourth quarter of 2016, the report noted.

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65.48 81.92 8.17 50.16 45.99 50.04 57.27 69.33 1.81 0.0552 17.25 9.22

68.43 85.88 9.09 52.60 48.24 52.48 60.49 72.69 2.01 0.0615 19.21 10.27


Thursday 16•02•2017

NAGALAND

NTac says it has ‘nothing to do with any politician’ DimaPur, February 15 (mexN): The Nagaland Tribes Action Committee (NTAC) today stated that the demand for the Chief Minister’s resignations is “not negotiable after what had happened and we are determined to go to any extend till our demand is met.” A press note from the NTAC stated that “the demand for stepping down of the Chief Minister, TR Zeliang has nothing to do with the conflicting news spread by NPF party functionaries and other vested interest groups and individuals.” It said that the JCC and NTAC “are formed and supported by the apex tribe bodies of the state who are espousing the voice of the people and pursuing the demand for justice be met as early as possible.” It claimed that both the organisations have “nothing to do with any politician be it the MPs or any political parties,” and advised NPF functionaries “to keep their wild imaginations and suspicions for themselves only as it has nothing to do with us.”

ganisation (NAPO) today called the NPF Central’s allegations against NTAC, Kohima Convenor as “baseless and direct challenge to our community and Nagas as a whole.” NAPO President, Neiyalie Pfusenuo and General Secretary, Helievio Solo in a rejoinder to the NPF clarified that the NTAC Convener was selected by NAPO to “represent our people in the Angami Public Organisation (APO) for his capable and efficient leadership with high integrity.” Further, it added that the NTAC Convener was selected by Angami Public Organisation to lead the Angami community as well as NTAC, Kohima for his “able leadership.” “The NPF Central is reminded to eschew its disdainful habit of frequently jumping in and politicizing genuine issues that concern the people of Nagaland and also not to mislead the people with such unfounded allegations,” NAPO stated. Meanwhile, it reaffirmed its stand to continue giving full support to the leadership of NTAC Convenor “for NAPO clarifies to NPF The Northern Angami Public Or- bringing about our better future.”

Students complain of eve teasing, harassment by bandh volunteers Dimapur based student bodies appeal to let students pass check points without causing any psychological harassment DimaPur, February 15 (mexN): Following complaints from the students’ community that the present situation in Nagaland is not congenial for them to appear their exams peacefully, ten Dimapur based tribal student bodies in a joint press statement have appealed to the Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) and Dimapur Naga Youth Front (DNYF) to have moral obligations and support towards the students who are appearing their exams. The students’ organisations had an emergency meeting in this regard, informed the statement appended by Presidents of Dimapur Rengma Students’

Union, Dimapur Lotha Students’ Union, Dimapur Sumi Students’ Union, Ao Students’ Union Dimapur, Eastern Naga Students’ Union Dimapur, Rongmei Students’ Union Dimapur, Zeliang Students’ Union Dimapur, Chakhesang Students’ Union Dimapur, Poumai Students’ Union Dimapur, and Vice President of Pochury Students’ Union Dimapur. “Various complaints such as eve teasing, using harsh words, thorough interrogations even to the students in uniform and various other complaints have been placed before the unions,” the statement said. Pointing out that the need of the hour for the students is peace of mind to sit and write their exams properly, the student bodies appealed to the bandh volunteers to let the students pass the check points without causing any psychological harassment to them.

While acknowledging the “pains and efforts” rendered by the volunteers and public alike towards the “people’s movement,” the student bodies requested the JCC and DNYF volunteers and all the right thinking citizens to extend their moral support and solidarity to the students “who are our society’s tomorrow.” Meanwhile, the statement urged upon the State government to immediately restore internet services in the best interest of the students’ community stating the blockade is hampering the various activities of schools and institutions relating to students. Calling upon the students not to be worried or be disturbed by the ongoing crisis in the State, the unions further urged the students to instead focus on their studies. They also conveyed best wishes to all the students sitting for their exams.

NPRAAF urges Gov to address present crisis Either impose President's Rule in the state or ask the DAN government to find a replacement for TR Zeliang DimaPur, February 15 (mexN): The Nagaland Public Rights Awareness and Action Forum (NPRAAF) today asked the Nagaland Governor to address the “constitutional breakdown” as the state government machinery has come to a “complete halt” for over 13 days and normal lives including trade and commerce activities have been adversely affected. A press note from the NPRAAF informed that Article 356 of the Indian Constitution expounds that if

the president receives a report from the Governor and is satisfied that the Government of the state cannot be carried on in according with the provision of the constitution, the President may by proclamation declare the President’s Rule in the state. It lamented that the Governor “has not done enough to diffuse the current crisis,” and asked him to act impartially without fear or favor and be sensitive to people’s voice. The NPRAAF asked the

Governor to either impose President’s Rule in the state or ask the DAN government to find a replacement for the incumbent Chief Minister TR Zeliang to head the Government. It also appealed to the JCC and NTAC to “rein some over enthusiastic volunteers during the time of bandh to safeguard its good image”. There could be some unforeseen volunteers who may ruin the people’s movement, it stated, while assuring that the NPRAAF backs the de- Rag pickers had a profitable day collecting empty water bottles left by volunteers of the mands of JCC & NTAC. bandh in Dimapur on February 15. (Morung Photo)

Nagaland represents india at Thailand iiFF ‘Walk with integrity’

The Nagaland team which represented India at the recently concluded Thailand Improving International Folklore Festival held at Thailand from February 1 to 6.

DimaPur, February 15 (mexN): An eleven-member contingent from Nagaland represented India at the recently concluded Thailand Improving International Folklore Festival (Thailand IIFF) held at Thailand from February 1 to 6. The troupe included members of Associates for Performing Arts and

Theatricals (APAT), a team from Mokokchung, Nagaland which has been performing at different events all over the country for the past 16 years, informed a press release received here. The festival witnessed representatives from 13 different nations comprising Australia, Cambodia, Egypt, India, Israel, Indonesia, Japan, Lao

PDR, Myanmar, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and the host country Thailand. International delegates numbering 200 arrived at Sita Resort, Nakhonnayok Province on the first day where ceremonial rituals were performed, the release added. Events were organized at the four central provinces of Thailand, namely Nakhonnayok, Saraburi, Ayutthaya and Nakhon Pathom where performance shows were exhibited. A highlight of the festival was the “Jamboree for World Peace Declaration”, where each country gave heartwarming speeches on World Peace at the Mahachulalongkornrajaidyalaya University, Wang Noy district. The Festival was organized with an aim of bringing together nations to understand each other’s culture and tradition and develop mutual love and respect amongst nations. The Nagaland troupe was mentored by I. Alempokba, Director, Higher Education, Nagaland and Advisor APAT.

DimaPur, February 15 (mexN): The Western Sümi Baptist Akukuhou Küqhakulu (WSBAK) conducted Revival Hour from February 10 to 12 at Khekiho Village Baptist Church on the theme ‘Walk with integrity.’ The conference witnessed the participation of about 6000 delegates from Western Sümi Region representing more than 150 member churches, informed a press release from WSBAK Executive Secretary. The speakers of the conference were Rev. Dr. Hevukhu Achumi, Executive Secretary, WSBAK and Dr. Hokheto Chophi, Pastor, Sümi Baptist Church Kohima. Special sessions for the sick, the youth and family dedication were held. Dedication prayer was also held for the new appointees, transferred candidates and

those relieved from their responsibilities. During the occasion, WSBAK honoured two people – Rev. Dr. Hevukhu Achumi was awarded ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ for his service to the Western Sümi Churches in particular and the Nagas in general and Rev. Luhoi Jakha was awarded ‘Legendary Award’ for his pioneering works in the growth and nurturing of churches in Western Sümi Region. WSBAK in the press release conveyed best wishes and prayers for all those appearing for HSLC and HSSLC examinations conducted by NBSE and CBSE. While praying to God to give them sound mind and health until the end of the exams, WSBAK called on the students’ community not to use unfair means but trust in oneself and God.

Oldest Lotha man dies Morung Express News

Dimapur | February 15 109-year-old Khudemo Odyuo, reported to be the oldest person among the Lothas, passed away on February 14 at his native village Phiro in Wokha district. He is survived by a combined total of 127 children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. His funeral held on February 15 at the village was attended by hundreds of people from different villages, informed a person who was present at the funeral. Well known among Lotha people for his missionary works, people paid rich tributes to the deceased, it was conveyed. The committal service was conducted by Rev. Yankey Patton, the oldest Lotha Reverend.

NCRC meets NPF Prez DimaPur, February 15 (mexN): The Nagaland Christian Revival Church (NCRC) had a meeting with NPF President, Dr. Shürhozelie Liezietsu today in Kohima and requested him to take appropriate action at the earliest to ease the present situation. A press note from the NCRC meanwhile expressed appreciation to all concerned for maintaining peace and calm during the ongoing statewide indefinite bandh.

Angami Baptist Church Council appeals Kohima, February 15 (mexN): Taking stock of the present situation in Nagaland, the Angami Baptist Church Council (ABCC) in its emergency meeting held on February 15 at Mission Centre here expressed regret and pain over the unfortunate development in the recent past. It denounced the killings, violence and arson “which are contrary to Christian values,” stated a press statement from V Atsi Dolie, Executive Director, ABCC. ABCC fervently appealed to the NTAC, JCC and other frontal organizations to relax the bandh in the interest of the public. It also urged the government to be sensitive to the peoples’ voice and take measures to defuse the situation at the earliest. “ABCC’s prayer is that both civil societies and government, while carrying out their responsibilities, should stick to the principle of love and truth,” it added. Meanwhile, the Council requested all its churches to pray for God’s intervention and healing to come in the society on February 17 from 6:00 am to 12 noon.

All Saints Hr. Sec. School Peren alumni get together PereN, February 15 (mexN): The Alumni Association of All Saints Hr. Sec. School, Peren (AAASHSSP) held its annual get-together cum felicitation programme on February 11 at the multi-utility stadium of ASHSSP. Eminent public leaders, officers, bureaucrats, students and other alumni from different walks of life attended the programme, stated a press release from Aron Ikie, General Secretary, AAASHSSP. The chief resource speakers, I Daniel Hemang, District Planning Officer, Peren and Ernest Sephe, SDEO, Noklak exhorted the gathering with wit and wisdom from their experiences, it added. They congratulated the alumni achievers Pungbagongbe Ndang (Secretariat Assistant through NPSC), Lunghilang Pamai (SA through NPSC), Imtichiba Jamir (Inspector of Industries through NPSC) and Teizeung Zeliang (Inspector of Industries/EO through NPSC) and the toppers of the school Namgwamheile (HSSLC 2016) and Hungruilak (HSLC 2016). They also motivated the present class 10 & 12 students in particular to study well for their HSLC and HSSLC 2017 examinations. The alumni achievers of 2016 were felicitated with certificate of commendation and the school HSLC and HSSCL 2016 toppers were given certificate of merit and a cash award of Rs. 5000/-, the press release further informed. Rev. Fr. Kusum Kant Toppo blessed the alumni achievers and the toppers of the school. The alumni also presented melodious songs, while Iheule Zeliang, Youth Secretary, ZBCC said the closing prayer.

Public SPace The Voice of the People is the Voice of God

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uring the last few weeks we have heard a lot of wisdom from best brains of Naga people. I believe Naga people have learnt many lessons from Naga thinkers who have expressed their views concerning the current issue. Let us thank God for reminding us of our failure through all that has happened ever since this conflict situation took its root. Nothing will happen unless something happened in the past. The Scripture says, “People will reap exactly what they sow” (Galatians 6:7). More than eight decades ago, Naga People decided to have Sovereign Nation. To that end, 99.9 percent of the Nagas took thump impression with their own blood which became Lead of plebiscite on 16th May 1951 and reframed Republic Day on 27/4/1955 at Lakhuti. “Any person or persons who in order to destroy or undermine and who for the purposeful act about or set up organization against or oppose the Political Administration and Traditional institution

of the Nation or on attempt to do so, whether into or without the aid of another country or countries shall be deemed to have committed treason.” Let us not forget that Nagaland State is not a gift from India. It is purchased with precious blood of our patriot, whose blood, tears, and sweat are too precious and too costly for us to forget. If Nagas come to senses, the sacrifice made by our national heroes for the future of Nagas will not be taken for granted. Above all 90% Christian who call themselves sons and daughters of God purchased by the blood of Jesus must not take the redemptive work of God on the cross lightly, through which our society is delivered from darkness to light. It is true that down through human history every politicians and rulers forget all lists of people’s rights; they were resisted by rulers who claim the sufficiency of the pledges and yet promises were forgotten. Even documents of edict and table of law were frequently violated by ruler for thirst of power. But God delivers justice

to people according to his own time because God hates wrong scale. He is the God of justice. But the Naga people Convention brought 17 point agreement against the will of the Naga people. The draft of the Constitution was on discussion when Jawaharlal Nehru, the then Prime Minister of India, suggested the election of their leaders in their own traditional way. But Naga delegates said that they want Indian election system thereby Constitution was enacted in Indian Constitution. Today this Act became the bone of Contention, thereby Chief Minister T.R Zeliang has been saying we have Constitutional obligation. This obligation brought the situation into confrontation. This is not the first time confrontation between Government and Civil Societies. We have had several confrontations with State Govt.; Churches had conflict with state Government on liquor prohibition; NSF with State Govt. on certain issues but differences were amicably settled because the State came forward and ac-

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Sounding the trumpet

want to share a story which seems to be quite descriptive of our current situation in Nagaland. Here’s the story of a Christian in first person: “In Germany they [Hitler’s Loyalists] came first for the Communists and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist. Then they came for the Jews and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist. Next, they came for the Catholics and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant. Finally, they came for me and by that time no one was left to speak up.” We are all aware that many bad things have happened in history because good people remain silent. This being the case, I feel deeply burdened that it is urgently incumbent upon us to speak out loud Rev. Dr. V. K. Nuh, and clear, especially during Chairman, Naga Archive and this perilous time we Nagas Research Center are passing through right

cepted people’s demand. But today our confrontation seems to have no meeting point. At this juncture, we are inflicting suffering on ourselves. No conflicting party be it State govt., political parties, or people groups seems to be interested in solution. Everybody is standing their own ground for personal gain and not common welfare of the people of Nagaland. If we continue to allow our own ego to drive us to achieve our own ends, the general public (for whom every party is claiming to be fighting for) will gain nothing out of this situation. I believe that God never allows a problem without solution. And “Where there’s a will there’s way.” What is happening now is all because Naga people have forgotten our covenant with our Creator. Naga people have gone through this kind of circumstances, because we are slow to learn the purpose of God. Let’s there be peace, and let it begin with each one of us!

now. We don’t have to look hard to know that our society seems to be heading towards a terrible crisis for lack of God-fearing leaders. Crisis upon crisis are already pilling upon our society. And yet our political leaders, both overground and underground, seem to care only for power and wealth for themselves. Yes, I’m sure you are also well aware that many ambitious people amongst us are already getting ready to gain power to control us again by turning to the god of mammon and the god of terror. This is a dangerous path we are taking. If we, as true Christian keep silent, without speaking out and taking a stand against these evils, we will have doomed the future of our children and our grandchildren. As a matter of fact, I’m convinced that our children are demanding a response from us, adults who occupy positions of moral leadership in our society and specially

spiritual institution leaders. If we fail to respond even when evil is staring at them on their face, they will one day rise up and curse us. As for you and me, it is a moral duty we owe to all our people and our children in particular. If we don’t rise up to confront the evils now, when? If not the people of faith, who? So, may I be allowed to take this opportunity to request you to “sound the trumpet call” (Ezek 33) to all our fellow believers so that they will be alerted to do the right thing in such a time as this. More specifically, let us pray that the god of mammon and the god of terror will not have victory over us this time. Pray that our Lord would grant wisdom to our people to choose the individuals and people of His choice to lead us in our journey as a people of God. God Bless NAGALAND Dr. Tseibu Rutsa

The Morung Express “Public Space” is to provide space for diverse opinions to be expressed and heard. The opinions in the “Public Space” do not reflect the views and position of the newspaper nor the editor.


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THURSDAY 16•02•2017

IN FOCUS

THE MORUNG EXPRESS

The Power of Truth

The Morung Express VOLUME XII ISSUE 44 By Aheli Moitra

Time to care for health

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n the beginning of February, The Morung Express carried two stories on the status of healthcare and ensuing difficulties for the people of Kengjung village in remote Tuensang district. For those who missed out, Kengjung is one of the many Naga villages that remain cut off the healthcare circuit to date. About 70 km from the nearest town (Noklak, which has a Community Healthcare Centre), citizens of Kengjung have seen 15 or more people in the village die due to the lack of medical attention in 2015 alone. The village remains increasingly isolated from healthcare centres also due to inaccessibility—landslides are all too common. Women and children are the first to bear the brunt of this negligence. One of the stories covered the plight of a man who watched his wife bleed to death post child delivery. There was no way to reach any health facility and older women would not touch her fearing ‘transmission’ of whatever plagued the dying woman. What was plaguing the woman, whose children will grow up without a mother and her husband without the love of his partner, is definitely communicable and will continue to plague people in rural Nagaland. It is called apathy, corruption and misgovernance. And before the blame is shifted to suit the politics of the times, the foundation for these diseases were laid out by all chief ministers, their cabinet, the members of the Nagaland Legislative Assembly, the elephantine bureaucracy and the tribal councils that have ever been a part of Nagaland State functioning. In the past few years, while many private health centres and practitioners have extended a helping hand, the first institution to hold the failure of healthcare in Nagaland to legal accountability was the Naga Mothers’ Association. From 2010-2015, informed the NMA, 12 maternal deaths and 251 infant deaths were recorded at the Dimapur District Hospital alone. In the other districts, even the data to analyse the condition does not properly exist. 21 Public Interest Litigations were filed through the Indian justice system to seek accountability on women’s reproductive rights in Nagaland State. This gains significance because the State has never seen a public outcry against the failing healthcare system—unable to affect power politics, dying women, children, men or the elderly in rural areas have not been found deserving of martyrdom. In October 2015, Nagaland’s Minister for Health and Family Welfare admitted that despite 566 health care facilities in the State, the health care delivery system is ‘far from satisfactory.’ While there may be many qualified doctors in the State, few are willing to go to remote healthcare centres they are posted in. Again, reasons are many from lack of care to lack of infrastructure to house outstation doctors and nurses. Nagaland State and the people who reside in it are in a desperate need to put healthcare, education, sanitation, communication and a series of such on track. For many in the rural areas, particularly of eastern Nagaland, time is ticking on lives affected by apathetic governance. It is time that Nagaland is relieved of constant politicking with activists diverting their energy towards creating a healthy system of governance. Comments may be sent to moitramail@yahoo.com

LEFT WING |

Tharanga Yakupitiyage Inter Press Service

Mistrust Hindering Global Solutions: Secretary General

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he global lack of confidence and trust is undermining the ability to solve the world’s complex problems, said UN Secretary-General during an international conference. The 5th Annual World Government Summit (WGS), hosted by Dubai from February 12-14, has brought together over 4000 participants from more than 130 countries. Speaking at the second day of the conference, SecretaryGeneral Antonio Guterres noted the growing lack of confidence in institutions, as many people feel left behind from progress. “It is clear that globalisation has been an enormous progress…but globalisation had its losers,” Guterres said, pointing to the example of frustrated youth in countries unable to find jobs or “hope.” “Lots of people [feel] they were left behind and that the political establishments of their countries have not taken care of them,” he continued. The former High Commissioner for Refugees cited the migration crisis in Europe, stating that countries’ inability to implement a fair and coordinated response spurred a sense of abandonment, fear and frustration among the public. “This is the best ground for populists, for xenophobes, for those that develop forms of anti-Muslim hatred, or anti-Semitism…to play a role in our societies. And I think that it is not enough to condemn xenophobia, it is not enough to condemn populism, I think we need to be able to engage in addressing the root causes that lead to the fact that to be populist is so simple in today’s world,” Guterres told delegates, urging for reform to reconcile people with political institutions and to empower citizens and young people. He also noted that the deep mistrust between countries is contributing to the multiplication of conflicts and the difficulties in solving them. Most recently, the U.S. blocked the Secretary General’s appointment of former Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad as the new UN peace envoy in Libya after U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said the UN has been “unfairly biased” for too long in favor of the Palestinian Authority. Though he highlighted the need for impartiality, Guterres said that there was no valid reason to have rejected the nomination. “[Fayyad] is the right person for the right job at the right moment…he has a competence that nobody denies and Libya requires the kind of capacity that he has and I think it’s a loss for the Libyan peace process and for the Libyan people that I am not able to appoint him,” he stated, adding that bringing an end to the conflict in Libya is in everybody’s interest. When moderator and CNN anchor Becky Anderson asked about the new U.S. administration’s “America First” principle, Guterres noted the need for the UN to respect its values but also stressed the importance of multilateral solutions to global problems. “In a world in which everything is global, in which the problems are global – from climate change to the movement of people – there is no way countries can do it by themselves. We need global responses, and global responses need multilateral institutions able to play their role,” Guterres stated. “That is where the other gap of confidence becomes extremely important,” he continued, proposing reforms in the UN system to help build trust in such institutions. Despite 2016 being a “chaotic” year, Guterres followed after French diplomat Jean Monnet in expressing his hope for the future. “I’m not optimistic, I’m not pessimistic, I am just determined,” he concluded.

C O M M E N T A R Y

KnowledgeWharton Fair Observer

India’s 2017 Budget: Why Prudence Trumped Populism

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ndia’s new federal budget contained few radical moves. But that was reason enough for the stock market to celebrate. It was a budget that nearly never was. The Indian government had to wait until January 23 for Supreme Court permission to present the federal budget on February 1. The reason: The court had to rule on a clutch of petitions saying that the budget could be used by the ruling party to influence the coming state elections. It was a budget that may soon be forgotten. The Indian stock markets welcomed it: The Bombay Stock Exchange Sensitive Index (Sensex) ended the day at 28,141, a gain of 485 points or 1.76% and moved further up the next two days. But that was more because of the absence of “bad news.” “The 2017-2018 Budget has the shortest list of bad news for the markets in nearly two decades,” Ridham Desai, head of India equity research at Morgan Stanley, told news channel CNBC-TV18, adding that, unlike his predecessors, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley “had resisted the temptation to plant bombs in the fine print.” Part of this was because of a government decision to remove the mystique from budget-making. Earlier budgets were prepared behind a cloak of secrecy, with small excise changes affecting prices—from bread and butter to laptops and lingerie. The newspapers the next day were full of commentary about “who gains and who loses.” The tinkering leitmotif has been all but abandoned. An indication was available from the budget itself. The Railway Budget has been an independent part of the budgetary exercise, tabled separately a couple of days before the Union Budget. This time, it was merged with the main budget; a voluminous document was compressed to a few paragraphs. “We have discontinued the colonial practice prevalent since 1924,” said Jaitley. “The [Railway Budget] had in the past couple of decades also become a means for populism, so it may be good to do away with that,” says Saikat Chaudhuri, executive director of Wharton’s Mack Institute for Innovation Management. Besides, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had contrived to steal Jaitley’s thunder. In his year-end address to the nation (earlier, it was assumed he would speak on the impact of demonetization), Modi held forth instead on affordable housing. Jaitley also took the housing line and, like Modi, found little room for demonetization. The Impact of Demonetization The impact of demonetization was left for India’s chief economic advisor, Arvind Subramanian, to unravel. Presenting the Economic Survey, the finance ministry’s view on the annual economic development of the country, a day before the budget, Subramanian estimated real gross domestic product (GDP) growth to slow down by 25 to 50 basis points (one basis point equals 0.01%). A chapter in the survey titled “Demonetization: To Deify or Demonize?” notes: “Demonetization has been a radical, unprecedented step with short-term costs and long-term benefits. The liquidity squeeze was less severe than suggested by the headlines and has been easing since end-December 2016.” India is expected to clock a GDP growth of 7.1% in 2017-18, according to an HSBC report. “We expect GDP to grow from 6.3% in 2016-2017.” The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has trimmed the growth forecast for the current fiscal year (2016-17) by one percentage point, citing demonetization. The World Bank has cut the rate from 7.6% to 7% for calendar 2017. Calling the budget “mildly growth supportive,” rating agency Crisil (part of the Standard & Poor’s network) notes: “The Union Budget 2017 has performed a balancing act. With an eye to reducing deficit and simultaneously improving growth prospects, the budget refrained from stretching its fiscal coffers to give a steroidal push to the economy. Yet, sectors like transport and affordable housing received a shot in the arm, which in turn, is expected to push demand in areas such as cement and steel, generating positive multiplier effects in employment and incomes. This, to an extent, will help alleviate some stress in rural areas which were hit hardest by the demonetization drive.” The budget has others who see both positive and negative features. “Overall, the budget focuses on the basics necessary to facilitate econom-

ic development, much like Modi had done in Gujarat, too, before embarking on attracting investments. People tend to forget that part, which occurred in his first term as state chief minister,” says Chaudhuri. “The budget focuses on infrastructure as the foundation for development and economic growth. What is also positive is that the middle class, for once, also gets a break through reduced taxes, as well as the small and medium enterprises (SME) sector.” What is missing, Chaudhuri adds, is any indication of reforms such as opening up the financial sector and insurance, changes in labor and pension laws to facilitate restructuring or improved land acquisition policies. “It would have been useful to send a positive signal on those fronts, especially to foreign investors, who have had to make do with primarily the Goods and Services Tax (GST) as far as major reforms are concerned,” Chaudhuri notes. “This budget, like all budgets, is a mixed bag, with what appears to be a greater thrust on long-term, systemic reforms than on ensuring growth per se,” says Rajesh Chakrabarti, professor and executive vice dean at Jindal Global Business School. “The bigger concern is that no immediate steps seem to have been taken to reverse the job losses in the informal sector that have doubtless occurred in the aftermath of demonetization. While the ability of any budget to significantly boost growth is somewhat suspect, this one is an underwhelming budget, which is not necessarily a criticism.” What did the markets like about the budget? First, there was no change in the capital gains tax. Modi had first tested the waters in a meeting in Mumbai in late December. “Those who profit from financial markets must make a fair contribution to nation-building through taxes,” he told the audience. That was promptly taken to mean that the budget would remove some of the largesse now available. (Long-term capital gains on securities held for over one year are free of capital gains tax.) But Jaitley held firm; capital gains were left untouched. “While is it always difficult to ascribe reasons to market movements, one could venture the thought that this was a ‘sigh of relief’ that the budget was not particularly disruptive,” says Chakrabarti. Then there was the whole realm of excise duties. Jaitley left the entire list to the GST regime, expected from July 2017. Even “sin” products like cigarettes, always the target of every budget, faced only marginal new levies. There were some inducements for foreign investors. Gray areas on their liability to pay tax were clarified. The Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) is being abolished. “In the meantime, further liberalization of the foreign direct investment (FDI) policy is under consideration,” said Jaitley. FIPB to Be Wound Up The incipient demise of the FIPB will cause no heartburn. “The FIPB only debated the FDI proposals that were [part of the] non-automatic route, only 10% according to the statistics,” says Chakrabarti. “What it has been replaced with is not very clear, but it may not be unreasonable to expect that the automatic route will be expanded to cover close to all FDI. That will certainly make investing easier for foreign investors, but given that it only affects

10% of FDI flows anyway, the impact of this move on overall FDI flows is unlikely to be huge.” The Economic Survey is upbeat about current FDI flows, however. FDI increased by 36% in the first half of 2016-17 over the same period last year, the report says. “[This is] despite 5% reduction in global FDI inflows. Foreign exchange reserves have reached $361 billion as of January 20 2017, which represents a comfortable cover for about 12 months of imports.” The numbers are comforting and give Jaitley some leeway on other fronts. He would prefer a tight rein on the fiscal deficit. But with private sector investment showing no signs of picking up (thanks to high interest rates and bad loans), he didn’t have much choice. “I have pegged the fiscal deficit for 2017-2018 at 3.2% of GDP and remain committed to achieve 3% in the following year,” he said in his speech. “Fiscal prudence has not been the top priority for this budget,” says Chakrabarti. “Next year will have the last full budget for this Lok Sabha and it is perhaps unwise to expect much tightening going into an election. In that sense this was an opportunity wasted.” Other commentators are prepared to give Jaitley more license. “We believe that against the backdrop of India’s credible fiscal consolidation history and the recent slowdown in growth, there is a case for breaching the medium-term fiscal deficit target of 3%,” according to an analysis by ICICI Direct. A Crisil study agreed: “The government has chosen prudence over populism with a budgeted fiscal deficit target of 3.2% of GDP. Moreover, fiscal arithmetic appears to be broadly credible, though the divestment target and GST implementation could cause hiccups.” One point made by both Jaitley and Subramanian is that there are a lot of external imponderables. “The world economy faces considerable uncertainty in the aftermath of major economic and political developments during the last one year,” said Jaitley. “There are three major challenges for emerging economies. First, the current monetary policy stance of the U.S. Federal Reserve, to increase the policy rates more than once in 2017, may lead to lower capital inflows and higher outflows from the emerging economies. Second, the uncertainty around commodity prices, especially that of crude oil, has implications for the fiscal situation of emerging economies. Third, in several parts of the world, there are signs of increasing retreat from the globalization of goods, services and people, as pressures for protectionism are building up.” Subramanian added in an interaction with journalists after releasing the survey: “The world is very different. We don’t know exactly what will happen to NAFTA [North American Free Trade Agreement], what will happen to US-China relations … There are many domestic uncertainties, too. We have to see how demonetization plays out. With so many uncertainties, we should reflect them in our forecast.” But India seems to be on a good path. The IMF estimates that world GDP would grow by 3.1% in 2016 and 3.4% in 2017. The advanced economies are expected to increase their growth from 1.6% to 1.9% and the emerging economies from 4.1% to 4.5%. India, meanwhile, has become the sixthlargest manufacturing country in the world, up from ninth previously. “We

are seen as an engine of global growth” says Jaitley. The ‘Make in India’ thrust may be finally working.” Merger Ahead for Oil PSUs What else is there in the budget? The proposed merger of public sector oil companies (but this is not a new proposal). Disinvestment (but that always gets buried under charges of selling the family silver). An “electoral bond” (a device to remove the opacity from corporate donations to political parties). This, along with a new ceiling of Rs2,000 (around $30) for anonymous donations to parties is supposed to further the government’s crusade against black money. And, of course, affordable housing. “The incentives for affordable housing are welcome, since much real estate development in the country has focused on the middle- and higher-end market in recent times,” says Chaudhuri. But the house that Jaitley (and Modi before him) needs to build should provide jobs. That is one area of failure for the government. “Despite a pick-up in GDP growth, fewer employment opportunities are likely to have been created in the past three years,” according to a Crisil report. “That’s because sectors with high potential to absorb labor have grown at a slower pace.” There are no easy solutions. One tack being tried is a set of incentives for SMEs [small and medium-sized enterprises], which collectively employ many times more workers than the organized sector. The other is housing. In rural India, building houses requires labor and migrant construction workers may find new destinations. The budget, if nothing else, is a tribute to packaging skills. “Continuing with the task of fulfilling the people’s expectations, our agenda for the next year is: Transform, Energize and Clean India, that is, TEC India,” said Jaitley in his speech. The 10 pillars of this are: “Farmers: for whom we have committed to double income in five years; Rural Population: providing employment and basic infrastructure; Youth: energizing them through education, skills and jobs; Poor and the Underprivileged: strengthening the systems of social security, health care and affordable housing; Infrastructure: for efficiency, productivity and quality of life; Financial Sector: growth and stability through stronger institutions; Digital Economy: for speed, accountability and transparency; Public Service: effective governance and efficient service delivery through people’s participation; Prudent Fiscal Management: to ensure optimal deployment of resources and preserve fiscal stability; and Tax Administration: honoring the honest.” This is the necessary—but unglamorous—part of any budget. You can TEC it or leave it. This article was originally published by Knowledge@Wharton, a partner institution of Fair Observer. Knowledge@Wharton is an online business analysis journal of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Launched in 1999, Knowledge@Wharton has grown into a network of sites that includes a global edition in English and regional editions in Spanish, Portuguese, Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese, as well as a site for high school students and educators.

Letters to the Editor should be sent to: The Morung Express, House No. 4, Duncan Bosti, Dimapur - 797112, Or –email: morung@gmail.com All letters (including those via email) should have the full name and Postal address of the sender. Readers may please note that the contents of the articles, letters and opinions published do not reflect the outlook of this paper nor of the Editor in any form.


THURSDAY 16•02•2017

PERSPECTIVE

THE MORUNG EXPRESS

7

A new method of protesting involves humour

Protests are integrating humour to show the fragility of the most seemingly omnipotent governments newslaundry.com

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hen Egyptians gathered in Tahrir Square to protest the regime of Hosni Mubarak in 2011, they brought with them a weapon against the guns and tear gas of the military: a sense of humor. They carried cartoons, sang parodic songs, and renamed the central garbage heap after one of the president’s agencies. In the short term, their humor was a powerful vehicle for non-violent struggle against a potentially violent regime, and it followed in the footsteps of similarly antic protests in places as disparate as communist Poland and the Bush-era United States. Humorous protests are a very sophisticated—and even tricky—tool to deploy against authoritarian regimes. As Hannah Arendt wrote in On Violence: “The greatest enemy of authority…is contempt, and the surest way to undermine it is laughter.” But laughter has political advantages as well as limitations, as I have discovered while studying its impact in Serbia and in my home country, Thailand. Serbia offers a striking example of how humor can be used to resist an oppressive government. In the 1990s, this southeastern European nation faced numerous crises stemming from the breakup of the former Yugoslavia, including wars with newly independent neighboring countries, international sanctions, surging domestic crime rates, and the fearsome rule of Slobodan Miloševic, the president of Serbia and, later, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Many civic groups took to the streets to challenge the rule of Miloševic, who retained strong support among rural Serbians. A heavy NATO bombing campaign in 1999 and mounting international pressure had weakened Miloševic’s authority. But it took the subversive humor of the Otpor movement (the Serbian word for “resistance”) to finally oust Miloševic. Otpor did satirical street theater, parodic protests, and carnivalesque events—all of which were fun and easy to participate in. One of their most famous street skits was the “Beating of a Barrel.” In the middle of Belgrade’s busy pedestrian streets, activists placed an empty petrol barrel with an image of Miloševic on it. They invited passersby to hit the barrel with a stick they provided. Soon people were lining up to beat the barrel to show their resentment toward the regime. These actions conveyed a critical message to the Serbian public: Miloševic was not to be feared, he was no longer legitimate as a leader, and there was a political alternative to him. As the confrontation escalated, Otpor ratcheted up the ridicule. When the regime baselessly accused Otpor of being a terrorist organization, the activists didn’t respond by defending themselves with words, but instead dressed up in theatrical military uniforms and paraded around toting toy rifles. The crews walked through the streets ignoring traffic signs. Afterward, they proclaimed

Is it Right for Christians to Overthrow Their Government?

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ironically, “This is a terrorist act because we didn’t obey the traffic sign. This is the kind of terrorists we are.” Otpor also organized rock concerts, and parties (sometimes joined by celebrities) to encourage people across Serbia to imagine a different Serbia without wars, poverty, and political instability. In October 2000, the persistent nonviolent campaigns waged by Otpor and other opposition parties removed Miloševic from power. Leading activists from Otpor continued their nonviolent crusades, transferring knowledge of nonviolent protest strategies to other movements in countries such as Ukraine, Georgia, Lebanon, Iran, the Maldives, Burma, and more recently, Egypt. One unlikely place where these tactics resurfaced a decade was Thailand, where anti-elite jokes and gossip are considered weapons of “the weak,”. An unlikely place for humorous street protest, but in 2010, just such an organized movement emerged. For decades, Thai society has been politically and economically dominated by the monarchy, army, and aristocratic elites. But since the early 2000s, an alternative, democratic political party has gained increasing support. This movement was led by Thaksin Shinawatra, a Thai businessman who served as the country’s prime minister for five and a half years before being overthrown in a 2006 military coup. His supporters, many of them rural farmers, were known as the Red Shirts. The political establishment saw this as a threat, mobilizing their partisan supporters—who became known as the Yellow Shirts—to the street, increasing the bitter political polarization that still grips Thailand today. In 2010, pro-establishment government forces cracked down on the anti-establishment Red Shirts, raising fears that the protesters would morph into an armed underground guerrilla group. Others worried that the government’s new draconian laws prohibiting public assembly would silence all opposition. Out of this frightening moment came the group named Red Sunday. Led by

Sombat Boongnamanong, a social activist, freedom fighter, and former theater performer, Red Sunday’s activities were intended to create a friendlier public face for opposition activities that wouldn’t run afoul of the government. They fused everyday activities (such as dining, donning certain outfits, shopping, and exercising) with political protest. In this way, Red Sunday’s demonstration did not look exactly like a conventional protest, except that they often used the color red, which is associated with the anti-establishment. One of Red Sunday’s most memorable skits was an aerobic dance at the biggest public park in Bangkok in July 2010. Around 400 participants dressed in red sports outfits and ghost makeup intended to remind the public of the crackdown that had taken place few months ago. Like other park visitors, they gathered for a group aerobic dance routine popular among Thais. But theirs was unusual. The “instructor” led them in dancing to Red Shirt songs and in different silly steps that made the multigenerational crowd laugh and captured passersby’s attention. At other times, protesters would dress as ghosts, walk downtown, and hop on the monorail to ride with other passengers reminding them of regime repression. Protesters would also meet up for a picnic in a public park, go shopping at the mall en masse, or ride bicycles through Bangkok streets. These small acts of resistance carved out a space for Red Sunday’s political activism in a time of repression and despair and normalized the act of resistance for Thailand’s middle class, which has traditionally supported the political establishment. The regime would have appeared ridiculous if if had cracked down on a bunch of aerobic dancers. This tactical advantage, called the dilemma action because of the bind it places on the leadership, is particularly useful for activists trapped under an authoritarian— and dull—rule. Red Sunday’s playful actions paved the way for the resurgence of the anti-establishment movement, which won an important electoral victory in 2011.

In Serbia, Otpor used humorous protest actions in a more systematic way due to its well-crafted strategy of nonviolent defiance and nationwide franchises attracting broad-based support. As a result, the number of actions quantified, and effects of humor maximized. In contrast, Thailand’s Red Sunday was an ad hoc group working on a smaller scale. More importantly, the two groups used humor to achieve different goals. Otpor wanted to step up its political momentum to topple Miloševic and transform Serbian political landscape. Red Sunday considered humor useful for sustaining nonviolence as a movement when it was on the brink of becoming militarized. But they also were effective for many of the same reasons. They helped reduce fear among the populace and induce participation in protest activities. They also drew media attention to a protest movement, increasing publicity and political momentum. And they reversed the effects of repression by exposing the incongruity between a regime’s accusations and the reality. Finally, humorous events can offer a space for utopian enactment—encouraging people to imagine other political possibilities through parties, concerts, and festivals. This ability to imagine is extremely crucial for social change. People can be politically submissive if they think there is no alternative, and change is not possible. For activists, there are no limits to the supply of humor—after all, it comes from deep within our different cultures—but there are limits to how it can be used. Joking “with” others rather than “at” others is important, as is knowing what crosses the line and violates norms, and what does not. Jokes do not fly if they are out of context. Activists who know what culturally triggers laughter can use that knowledge to their advantage, even against the most seemingly omnipotent governments. Janjira Sombatpoonsiri is an assistant professor of the political science faculty at Thammasat University in Bangkok and author of Humor and Nonviolent Struggle in Serbia

Media Layoffs And The Silence Of Gagged Press Samrat

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tory after story is coming in from around the country, of wholesale layoffs and brutal sackings in news media organisations, and of honest journalists who did not enrich themselves finding themselves facing sudden penury. The modest livings that most of them made paid them salaries of maybe Rs 40 or 50 thousand a month, after years in the profession. Many of them support families. Some have children whose education needs money. Others have aged parents to look after. They don’t know where to go and what to do. No one in the profession talks about these things openly. These are things that are whispered in undertones between friends. For a community of people who never fail to organise TV debates, write articles, and tweet and rant on Facebook about every issue under the sun, the silence is deafening. It is the silence of the gagged. And this silence was years in the making. We’ve all heard of renowned editors who were sacked overnight. For instance, some years ago, a famous and successful editor received his sacking orders on SMS when he was on his way to office. Another editor was told on the phone that he would have to be sacrificed to save the company owner from possible arrest. There are plenty of such examples, each of which would make for a fascinating story in itself. I shall leave those stories for other times. The cumulative impact of these actions was the murder of the institution of editor. As independent editors more or less disappeared, management became all-powerful. As a result, the media became an instrument for politicking and profiteering. The press is now a slave to the profit motive. Most people who invest in media do so to buy influence that they can

and shares from corporations, and directly, by selling ad space and renting out properties given to them on cheap long-term leases. They keep costs to a minimum by saving on newsprint, paying journalists poor salaries, and keeping newsgathering costs to the barest minimum. Often, protected as they are by their networks of influence, they also manufacture narratives to suit themselves. A sharp somebody suggested that the current wave of layoffs was triggered by demonetisation. This appears highly improbable. In the specific case of HT Media, for instance, the plan to lay off staff long predates demonetisation. On November 3, 2016, five days before Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s surprise announcement of demonetisation, a conference call was held to discuss HT Media’s second quarter results. Sandeep Jain, Chief

on a cost optimisation project and it was kicked off about three months ago. The diagnostics of that project is going to be completed in a couple of months. We are looking at the entire organisation and both the operating companies, so both in Hindi and English business. We see that growth expectations have to be set right for this business and for us to maintain profitability, probably the only right option is to look internally at our costs, so we have embarked on this exercise which is pan organization. We are hoping that by the end of this financial year we should be taking action on some of the recommendations.” Responding to a question from Ritwik Rai of Kotak Securities, he had added, “You can imagine the reorganization exercises like these can be painful with a lot of decisions that need to be taken. So print is going to be our first focus and once we are done with print it is quite

Let me translate that into ordinary English for my innocent readers. What he was saying was that the plan to sack a whole bunch of people and close down editions had been kicked off three months before November 3, for “cost optimisation”, independent of demonetisation. Demonetisation logically cannot hit large media companies this hard in short term. It is certainly likely to impact media earnings in the long term because of the slowdown that is expected in the Indian economy. However, it doesn't add up that it would necessitate layoffs right now. Print media's share of the ad pie was already shrinking with each passing year, which is why newspaper companies were planning on restructuring in the first place. Regardless of whether they were actually hit by demonetisation or not, trying to turn the planned retrenchments into a problem caused by demonetisation was a very cunning move. A large number of journalists are Left Liberals who do not like Prime Minister Narendra Modi or the BJP. Channelling the inevitable anger being caused by mass layoffs towards Modi therefore makes complete strategic sense. It is telling that Resident Editors of the Hindustan Times editions that were shut down were clueless about the restructuring plans. Even people in the national editorial leadership team swore they had no idea this was coming, according to company sources. The company’s Chief Strategy Officer had publicly announced the plan well in advance. Yet most people whose business it is to know what is going on in the world remained clueless about what was going on in their own world. That ignorance, and the silence that has followed the layoffs, indicate that freedom of journalists, at least, is dead in India. It is doubtful that we can have

n line with a good majority of our Nagaland population, I too strongly feel that our current government has lost the moral support of our people as demonstrated in the recent case of the ULB election that resulted in the deaths of three precious youth. And candidly speaking, I wish all the “rotten tomatoes in the basket” to be removed as soon as possible. In addition to their mishandling of the recent ULB Election, I have more reasons as to why I feel the way I do. Let me add five extra reasons: First, our so-called leaders are eating our lunch while we are asleep. For them, it’s all about keeping their own chairs and building their own empires. Except for our votes and support, we are the least on their minds. Second, they have turned our socio-political structures to be twisted and crooked through the use of money-power. They and their cronies have hijacked the State machinery to shore up power. They have corrupted everything they have touched. As a result, we are seeing a complete subversion of the democratic system in our State. Now, it’s just an oligarchy, where a handful of wealthy people and special interest-groups determine who gets elected or who doesn’t. For example, during the election cycle, crores of Rupees from our politicians flood into the hands of the masses to buy their votes. Then, they spend more public money buying candidates to form a majority party. Third, our current governmental system no longer serves the people; rather, it serves itself. As far as serving the people is concerned, it has become a “Do-Nothing-Government.” Bluntly put, our politicians are all talk, no action. Even when problems of inaction or wrong-doing are brought to their attention, they only resort to tactics of more empty promises and sweet lip-service to deflate public pressure or to delay solution. They don’t understand that the blame for the problems must end with them (accepting responsibility). Their main achievements are amassing personal wealth, growing their own party bigger, and promoting Naga festivals. Fourth, our politicians are visionless. All they do is simply borrowing Delhi’s vision and programs, whatever they may be. They are merely doing what Delhi has asked of them to do. Even all the Central flagship programs are more or less fully funded by Delhi. That shows that our old guards are totally plagued with bankruptcy of original ideas. But they still don’t want to pave the way for the younger, more educated generation to take charge of their own future. Fifth, most of our old-generation politicians are incompetent. They are stuck in the past and regressing further. Needless to say, they are out of touch with the fast-changing world. They don’t realize that today’s problems are so complex, changes are moving so fast, information flow is so massive. Or, can they honestly say that they are up to the challenges of our 21st century? For that matter, do they even know anything about macro-economics to be able to grow our economy? If they claim they do know, why are our infrastructures missing? And, why can’t we still stand on our own feet even after 50 years of Statehood? For all these reasons, and more, it makes sense to demand change from our government. After all, we need to return power to the people. Ours must be a citizen government again. We must empower our communities for self-governance as in the days of our ancestors. We must put our people first. We must restore our Naga honor and self-respect to all. But the million-dollar question is this: How should we remove “the rotten tomatoes in the basket”? Should we topple our government because it has done all the wrong things? If Mr. T.R. Zeliang finally chooses to resign from his Chief Ministerial position, the current standoff should end there. But what about the entire Opposition-less Members who are equally in the same boat throughout this entire episode? Is a one-man sacrifice for the “sins” of the whole group fair and just? By the way, we must accept our share of responsibility for the misdeeds of our politicians too, because we are the voters who participated in their selection through the use of an electoral process. As such, it is incumbent upon us to use the same process if we want to remove them. We have a moral obligation to be fair if we expect others to resign on moral grounds. In a democratic society, those of us who disagree with the government still have all the options of working for change by speaking out, petitioning, demonstrating, forming interest groups or parties, voting against unpopular leaders, or running for office ourselves. But all these must be done without the use of violence and with the least inconvenience to the public. Finally, if we Nagas want to call ourselves Christians, shouldn’t we follow what the Bible says? According to Titus 3:1-2 and 1 Peter 1:13-17, Christians and churches must submit to their governments, even if these institutions may sometimes become dictatorial or wicked. Only the human government has the legitimacy, or rightfulness, to “hold the sword” for the purpose of maintaining order and ensuring justice in a society (Romans 13:1-5). Conversely, this also means that no political faction, no union, no civil society, or no church association has been given the divine sanction to “hold the sword” as a means to enforce compliance. If these commands were not there in my Bible, I’d probably like to do everything possible in my power to overthrow the current Government of Nagaland. But at the end of the day, I must make a choice whether to be driven by my reactionary feelings or to be guided by my Christian belief and


8

thursDAY 16•02•2017

INDIA

THE MORUNG EXPRESS

More women delivering in hospitals, but many still dying in childbirth Devanik Saha

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IndiaSpend

urujmuni Marandi, 24, decided to deliver her baby at the district hospital in Godda, Jharkhand. Like many, she was drawn to the idea of free medical assistance, medicines, nutrition and postnatal care for poor, pregnant women promised by Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY), the government programme aimed at reducing Indias high maternal mortality rate (MMR). Marandi ticked all the boxes in the JSY profile of a woman who needs to be incentivised to deliver in a hospital: She was an adivasi, poor, had little access to health facilities, and would have gone for a traditional home-birth if it wasn't for the scheme. Marandi should have had an easy time delivering her son at the hospital. But, as a documentary by activist media group Video Volunteers shows, she is denied everything that JSY promises. Marandi, debilitated by labour pain, was made to wait six hours for a doctor who finally did not turn up for duty. She was asked to pay for medical attention and medicines, and denied the nutrition and care that was her right. Denied basic facilities, even the use of a toilet, she finally delivered with the help of a nurse. Marandi's story holds answers to India's maternal mortality puzzle: Despite a rise in institutional deliveries, maternal mortality continues to be a worry for in India. The number of institutional deliveries rose by 15 per cent over the decade ending 2014, mostly aided by the JSY. Deliveries in government hospitals rose by 22 per cent, fell by eight per cent in private hospitals and home-

Pregnant Indian women wait for a check-up at a government hospital in Amritsar. (AFP File Photo)

births dropped by 16 per cent. But 167 women are still dying per 100,000 live births, as per latest government data. This is despite a 70 per cent fall in MMR over 25 years. Why aren't institutional deliveries resulting in fewer deaths during childbirth? Simply incentivising institutional deliveries isn't enough to push down MMR and infant mortality rate, wrote Ambrish Dongre, Fellow, Centre for Policy Research, in a 2014 analysis of the JSY. Physical and human infrastructure for maternal health and the quality of care too should improve, he said. The public health infrastructure, it appears, is simply unable to support the rising number of institutional deliveries that the government is encouraging. And this could possibly explain why India's MMR is worse than Sri Lanka (30), Bhutan (148), Cambodia (161) and the entire Arab world. JSY is a 12-year-old government programme focused spe-

cially on 10 states with low rates of institutional delivery -- Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Assam, Rajasthan, Odisha, and Jammu and Kashmir -- termed as low-performing states (LPS). The other 19 states are clubbed together as high-performing states (HPS). Under the programme, pregnant women in rural areas who live below the poverty line are to be given cash assistance -- Rs 700 in HPS and Rs 1,400 in LPS -- so that they opt for birth in a government or accredited private health facility. In reality, the JSY has failed to cover the poorest women, according to a 2014 analysis of JSY data by researchers from Georgetown University. Some focus states report MMRs that match those of world's poorest countries -- Mauritania (320), Equatorial Guinea (290), Guyana (250), Djibouti (230) and Laos (220). There is a lack of association between MMR and the rise in in-

stitutional births, according to a 2013 report, which analysed different government data for 284 districts across nine focus states. It is likely that women most vulnerable to maternal death are not getting the JSY benefits, the report said. Marandi's story is repeated in hospitals across India. In Odisha's Subarnapur district, families of patients are forced to hire private vehicles, pay for checkup and delivery at government health facilities. They do not receive cash incentives -- Rs 1,400 under JSY and Rs 5,000 under the state's Mamata Yojana. As in Marandi's case, 60 per cent of women in Uttar Pradesh said they had to pay for certain public maternal health services, according to an assessment of JSY conducted by United Nations Population Fund in Bihar, Madhaya Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh in 2012. There is a 77 per cent shortage of obstetricians and gynaecologists in Community Health Cen-

tres (CHCs) nationwide, according to the Rural Health Statistics 2016 released by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. And 15 states and Union territories have more than 90 per cent shortage of obstetricians, gynaecologists in CHCs. The CHCs constitute the secondary level of health care. These provide specialist care to patients referred from Primary Health Centres (PHCs), four of which feed into each CHC, serving roughly 80,000 people in tribal, hill or desert areas and 120,000 on the plains. Nearly 62 per cent of government hospitals -- which include CHCs, district hospitals and subdistrict hospitals -- don't have a gynaecologist on staff and an estimated 22 per cent of sub-centres are short of auxiliary nurse midwives (ANMs). Additionally, in 30 per cent of the districts, subcentres with ANMs serve double the patients they are meant to. Sanitation facilities at public health centres where women deliver are inadequate as well. In the video, Marandi can be seen struggling to find a toilet after she is given laxatives before childbirth. In one instance, she simply squats outdoors in public to ease herself. "The government encouragement of institutional deliveries is based on the idea that poor people choose to deliver at home either out of ignorance or an inability to make the right decisions or due to cultural norms and the exercise of (male) power," argued Jishnu Das, lead economist, World Bank, in a 2014 blog. "But an alternate starting point is that people were not using institutions to begin with precisely because quality was low, and that increasing quality would also bring more people in."elf.

UP second phase registers over 65% polling Sasikala back in jail, AIADMK infighting rages

new delhi February 15 (ianS): Over 65 per cent voters cast their ballot in the second phase of the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections across 67 seats on Wednesday, the Election Commission said here. "The polling was 65.5 per cent till 5 p.m. and was continuing," Deputy Election Commissioner Vijay Dev told reporters here. He said that Election Commission had made cash seizure of Rs 16.5 crore, liquor worth Rs 9 crore and drugs worth Rs 1.1 crore. The official said gold and silver have also been seized. Officials in Lucknow said that maximum voting was reported from Saharanpur and Lakhimpur Kheri. Barring some places where Electronic Voting Machines developed some snags, polling was smooth and peaceful in most of the 67 assembly constituencies across 11 districts. Polling began on Wednesday morning amid tight security at 7 a.m. Long queues of women, differently-abled and elderly voters were seen in most parts outside the poll booths. In the 2012 assembly polls, the average polling in these constituencies was 64 per cent. A total of 721 candidates were in the fray.

bly elections on Wednesday, bettering the voting percentage of the past two state polls, officials said. "The 68 per cent is better than the 66 per cent recorded in 2012 and 64 per cent in 2007," a poll official said. Polling in 69 of the 70 constituencies in the hill state ended on a peaceful note, Election Commission officials said. This is the fourth assembly polls in the state where 7.5 million voters decided the fate of 628 candidates. Men and women braved inclement weather at some places and voted in large numbers, officials said. Polling in Karnprayag was suspended due to the death of the Bahujan Samaj Party candidate. Voting there will be held on March 9. According to an official, postal ballots will be received till March 11 morning, the day votes will be counted in all five states including Uttarakhand. Uttarakhand had 10,685 polling stations. A total of 1,409 of them were classified "very sensitive", an official euphemism to mean trouble could be expected there. A polling station at Yamunotri was located at a height of 9,800 feet above sea level. Although the Bahujan Samaj Party is also in the race, the Uttarakhand contest was dominantly between the Uttarakhand sees 68% voting Around 68 per cent polling was Congress and the Bharatiya Janata witnessed in the Uttarakhand assem- Party (BJP).

Maneka Gandhi urges schools to eliminate corporal punishment new delhi, February 15 (ianS): Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi on Wednesday urged schools to eliminate corporal punishment by following the guidelines issued by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR). The NCPCR under the authority of the Union WCD Ministry has developed and issued guidelines for eliminating corporal punishment in schools. "Corporal punishment has been banned under Section 17 of the Right to Education Act. The WCD Minister has urged the Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar that the government as well as private schools may be suitably directed to ensure that these guidelines are strictly observed," the WCD Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday. The guidelines call for setting up special monitoring cells to take prompt action in cases of physical punishment or harassment of children. They also suggest that Corporal Punishment Monitoring Cells (CPMCs) should hear grievances related to corporal punishment within 48 hours of the occurrence. According to these guidelines, school teachers should provide a written undertaking that they would not engage in any action that could be construed as amounting to physical punishment, mental harassment or discrimination. They also direct schools to have annual social audits of physical punishment, harassment and discrimination. Gandhi expressed concern at the disturbing incident in Uttar Pradesh where girl students faced tormenting corporal punishment in the school for not completing their homework. She has asked the HRD Ministry to ensure a widespread circulation and implementation of the guidelines for elimination of corporal punishment in schools.

bengaluru/chennai, February 15 (ianS): AIADMK General Secretary V.K. Sasikala, held guilty for corruption, on Wednesday returned to the Bengaluru jail as the battle for supremacy in the AIADMK continued in Tamil Nadu. Sasikala, 59, was sent to a women's cell in the Central Jail soon after she reached Bengaluru in a convoy of cars from Chennai after her plea for more time to surrender was rejected by the Supreme Court. A prison official told journalists that the long-time confidante of the late J. Jayalalithaa, who was Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu when she passed away on December 5, is expected to make candles in jail. Sasikala surrendered to the trial court set up in the prison along with her sisterin-law Elavarasi and nephew V.N. Sudhakaran, all of whom were held guilty along with the late Jayalalithaa by the apex court on Tuesday of having assets disproportionate to their known sources of income. Even at the prison, where police and AIADMK activists scuffled, Sasikala sought more time to serve the jail term but the judge rejected her request

and told her to undergo a health check-up. In Chennai, Governor C. Vidyasagar Rao prepared to invite acting Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam as well as pro-Sasikala AIADMK leader E. Palanisamy to find out who has majority support among party MLAs. Before leaving Chennai, Sasikala visited the Marina Beach memorial of Jayalalithaa. Hitting the floor thrice with her right hand, she pledged to return to politics after defeating the "betrayers" in the AIADMK. She later went to AIADMK founder late M.G.Ramachandran's house at Ramavaram and paid her respects. At both places, hundreds of supporters gathered, most of them looking grim. Once the Supreme Court held Sasikala guilty of corruption on Tuesday, the MLAs backing Sasikala and housed in a guest house near here elected Palanisamy as their new legislature party leader. On Wednesday, Panneerselvam aides claimed he had the support of some 40 of the 135 AIADMK legislators but Palanisamy said he had adequate legislative backing to

form a government. Earlier, police registered a FIR against Sasikala and Palanisamy after AIADMK MLA S.S. Saravanan accused them of abducting him. The party denied the charge. Saravanan, a legislator from Madurai South constituency, filed the abduction complaint against Sasikala and Public Works Minister Palanisamy. Saravanan told the media on Monday that he scaled a wall at the resort in Koovathur, 90 km from here, and jumped down to escape. After his complaint, hundreds of police personnel in riot gear reached the resort on Wednesday. "Saravanan's complaint is totally false. He himself had told police a couple of days back that he is staying at the resort on his own will," an AIADMK MLA, Inbadurai, told reporters. The legislators at the resort have switched off their phone lines and some do not answer the calls or cut the call if it is from the media. They said they could vacate the resort if Palanisamy told them to do so or if he was called to form a government.

31 bids for small oil, gas fields exploration approved

new delhi, February 15 (ianS): The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved 31 contracts for exploration of small oil and gas contract areas under the Discovered Small Fields (DSF) Bid Round 2016, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced here. "The cabinet decided to award contracts under the Discovered Fields Policy on proposals submitted by the Petroleum Ministry... 31 contracts have been cleared today (Wednesday)," Jaitley told reporters following a cabinet meeting. "With regard to 14 such contracts there was a single bid. For 17 such contracts there were multiple bids... the cabinet, thus, finalised 31 of these proposals," he said. As many as 46 contract areas designated for 67 discovered small fields across nine sedimentary basins were on offer under the DSF Bid Round 2016, bids for which came in from majors like Cairn India and Hindustan Oil Exploration Company, along with from five smaller foreign firms.

Allahabad HC issues notice to Mayawati, brother

lucknow, February 15 (ianS): In a major setback to Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati in the midst of the crucial assembly polls, the Allahabad High Court on Wednesday issued notice to her with regard to a land purchase in 2006. A bench of Chief Justice D.B. Bhonsle and Justice Yashwant Verma gave the order on a petition by Sandeep Bhati. Notices were also issued to Mayawati's brother Anand and her nephew. The case pertains to change in land use of a large stretch in her native village Badalpur in Gautam Buddh Nagar to populated land, and then its subsequent allocation to her brother.

Cabinet approves SBI planned merger with subsidiaries

MuMbai, February 15 (reuterS): India's union cabinet has approved top lender State Bank of India's (SBI) planned merger with its five subsidiary banks, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Wednesday. SBI is merging with State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur, State Bank of Hyderabad, State Bank of Mysore, State Bank of Patiala and State Bank of Travancore. SBI has said the merger will help the country's largest lender by assets increase its scale and cut expenses through synergies. Policymakers want to recapitalise and consolidate India's state-run banks so they can extend fresh credit and help drive an investment-led recovery in Asia's third-largest economy. India's 27 public sector banks account for 70 percent of its banking sector assets, as well as the lion's share of the country's $120 billion in troubled loans.

No shortage of cash, assures FM

new delhi, February 15 (ianS): Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday said that there is no shortage of cash and some ATMs could be dry due to operational reasons. Jaitley, who was briefing the media after a meeting of the Union Cabinet, was asked on reports of shortage of cash at several ATMs in different parts of the country. "We are monitoring the situation, so that such complaints don't arise. We have currency in surplus and there is no shortage of cash... There might be some operational reasons (for dry ATMs)," Jaitley told reporters here. The RBI last month ended all curbs on withdrawals from Current Accounts, Cash Credit Accounts and Overdraft Accounts with immediate effect. It also lifted limits on withdrawals from ATMs.

Army chief warns locals against supporting militants

new delhi, February 15 (ianS): In a stern message, Indian Army Chief General Bipin Rawat on Wednesday said the army operations against terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir will continue and warned locals against supporting militants. "Our aim is to bring peace and tranquility in the Kashmir Valley. These terrorists have now entered villages and we are conducting operations against them. We find the local population is somehow not supporting security forces' action," General Rawat told the media here after paying homage to four Army personnel, including a Major, killed in two gunfights in Kashmir on Tuesday. Speaking on the high casualties among the security forces in anti-terrorist operations, the Chief of Army Staff said: "Our aim has been to conduct operations in a way that don't endanger the civilians. However, sometimes locals prevent us from conducting military operations - at times even supporting terrorists to escape." Warning locals against supporting militants, General Rawat said: "We will request locals in Kashmir that people who have picked up arms -- and these are local boys -- and if they want to continue with acts of terrorism by displaying flags of the Islamic State and Pakistan, we will treat them as anti-national elements and go after them.""They may survive today but we will get them tomorrow. And our relentless operations will continue," the Army chief added.

India puts record 104 satellites into orbit in single mission

Sriharikota (andhra PradeSh), February 15 (ianS): India on Wednesday created a world record by successfully putting into orbit 104 satellites, including the country's own Cartosat-2earth observation satellite, in a single mission. With the launch, ISRO surpassed the 37 satellite launch record set by a Russian rocket on June 19, 2014. The co-passenger satellites comprised 101 nano satellites, one each from Israel, Kazakhstan, the Netherlands, Switzerland, the UAE and 96 from the US, as well as two nano satellites from India. The total weight of all the satellites carried onboard is about 1,378 kg. Multiple satellite launches with a PSLV rocket is not new for ISRO, having launched 20 satellites on June 22, 2016. "One hundred and four satellites have been

put into orbit," Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman A.S. Kiran Kumar said soon after the launch, congratulating the space agency's team on its success. Exactly at 9.28 a.m. the PSLV-XL variant rocket standing 44.4 metres tall and weighing 320 ton tore into the morning skies with fierce orange flames at its tail. Gathering speed every second, the rocket raced towards the heavens amidst the cheers of the ISRO officials and the media team assembled at the rocket port here. President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress president Sonia Gandhi have congratulated ISRO on the success. Science and Technology Minister Harsh has also congratulated ISRO. At the rocket mission control room, ISRO scientists were glued to their

computer screens watching the rocket escaping the earth's gravitational pull. Around 28 minutes into the flight, the rocket completed its birth 'karma' slinging all the 104 satellites into their intended orbits as per the scheduled sequence. The PSLV rocket is a four stage rocket alternatively powered by solid and liquid fuel. The Cartosat-2 satellite weighs 714 kg and has a mission life of five years. "The Cartosat satellite is the fourth one in the Cartosat-2 series of earth observation satellites. Already three are in the orbit and two more will be launched. Once all the six Cartosat-2 series satellites are launched the Cartosat-3 series would begin," an ISRO official told IANS, preferring anonymity. Out of the total 226 satPolar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) lifting off from the ISellites launched by ISRO RO’s Sriharikota spaceport in Andhra Pradesh on February 15. It carries with 104 satellites, including the country's earth with its PSLV rocket, 179 satellites were for foreign observation satellite Cartosat-2 series. (ISRO Photo)

customers, said Project Director Jayakumar. According to P. Kunhikrishnan, Director of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) three more launch missions are slated this year. In his congratulatory tweet, the Prime Minister said: "Congratulations to ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) for the successful launch of PSLV-C37 and Cartosat satellite together with 103 nano satellites." The President, in a message to Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) Chairman A.S. Kiran Kumar, said February 15 would "go down as a landmark" in India's space programme history. The Congress chief in a statement said: "India has led the world in space and scientific achievements and this momentous feat by our scientists has once again made the entire nation proud."


thursdAY 16•02•2017

WORLD

THE MORUNG EXPRESS

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Malaysia detains woman, seeking others in connection with North Korean murder

SEOUL/KUALA LUMPUR, FEbRUARy 15 (REUtERS): Malaysian police on Wednesday detained a woman holding Vietnam travel papers and are looking for a “few” other foreign suspects in connection with the assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s estranged half-brother, police said. Lawmakers in South Korea had earlier cited their spy agency as saying it suspected two female North Korean agents had murdered Kim Jong Nam, and U.S. government sources also told Reuters they believed North Korean assassins were responsible. The portly and gregarious Kim Jong Nam, the eldest son of late North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, was assaulted on Monday morning in the departure hall of Kuala Lumpur International Airport and died on the way to hospital, Malaysian police said. The woman detained at Kuala Lumpur airport was identified from CCTV footage at the airport and was alone when she was apprehended, police said in a statement. Media had earlier published a grainy CCTV-captured image of a young woman wearing a white shirt with the letters “LOL” on the front. Documents she carried were in the name of Doan Thi Huong, showed a birth date of May 1998 and birthplace of Nam Dinh, Vietnam, police said. “Police are looking for a few others, all foreigners,” Deputy Inspector-General Noor Rashid Ibrahim told

No strangers to “wet jobs”: Suspected killings overseas by North Korean agents Reuters

People watch a TV screen broadcasting a news report on the assassination of Kim Jong Nam, the older half brother of the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, at a railway station in Seou on February 14. (REUTERS Photo)

Reuters, declining to give their nationalities or gender. South Korean intelligence believes Kim Jong Nam was poisoned, the lawmakers in South Korea’s capital, Seoul, said. The spy agency told them that the young and unpredictable North Korean leader had issued a “standing order” for his half-brother’s assassination, and that there had been a failed attempt in 2012. “The cause of death is strongly suspected to be a poisoning attack,” said South Korean lawmaker Kim Byung-kee, who was briefed by the spy agency.

Kim had been at the airport’s budget terminal to catch a flight to Macau on Monday when someone grabbed or held his face from behind, after which he felt dizzy and sought help at an information desk, Malaysian police official Fadzil Ahmat said. According to South Korea’s spy agency, Kim Jong Nam had been living, under Beijing’s protection, with his second wife in the Chinese territory of Macau, the lawmakers said. One of them said Kim Jong Nam also had a wife and son in Beijing. Kim had spoken out publicly against his family’s dynastic control of the

isolated state. “If the murder of Kim Jong Nam was confirmed to be committed by the North Korean regime, that would clearly depict the brutality and inhumanity of the Kim Jong Un regime,” South Korean Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn, who is also acting president, told a security meeting. The meeting was called in response to Kim Jong Nam’s death, news of which first emerged late on Tuesday. ‘SENSE OF DANGER’ South Korea is acutely sensitive to any sign of instability in isolated North Korea, and is still technical-

The mysterious death of Kim Jong Nam, the half-brother of North Korea’s leader, is only the latest in a series of assassinations and attempted killings that agents from the reclusive state have been blamed for. Here is a list of some such cases: • 1968 - Suspected North Korean commandos, dressed in South Korean military uniform, attempted to assassinate then South Korean President Park Chung-hee. They were stopped by police 800 metres (yards) from the presidential Blue House. Only two escaped, the rest were killed. • 1974 - A man believed to be a North Korean agent shot at Park when he was delivering a speech at an Independence Day ceremony. The bullets missed him but killed his wife. • 1983 - A bomb exploded at a memorial in Myanmar, then Burma, when South Korean President Chun Doo-hwan and several members of his cabinet were visiting. The South’s foreign minister and 20 other people were killed. One of the bombers

ly in a state of war with its impoverished and nucleararmed neighbour, which carried out its latest ballistic missile test on Sunday. Malaysian police said Kim held a passport under the name Kim Chol, with a birth date that made him 46. Kim Jong Nam was known to spend a significant amount of time outside North Korea, travelling in Macau and Hong Kong as well as mainland China, and has been caught in the past using forged travel documents. His body was taken on Wednesday to a second hospital, where an autopsy was being performed. North Korean embassy of-

ficials had arrived at the hospital and were coordinating with authorities, police sources said. There was no mention of Kim Jong Nam’s death in North Korean media. In Beijing, a foreign ministry spokesman said China was aware of the reports and closely following developments. Yoji Gomi, a Japanese journalist who wrote a 2012 book on Kim Jong Nam, said Kim’s media appearances, which increased around the time South Korean intelligence said he was targeted for assassination, may have been an attempt to protect himself. “I now have the impres-

confessed to being a North Korean military officer. 1987 - Two suspected North Korean agents planted a bomb in a South Korean airliner flying from Baghdad to Seoul. The bomb exploded after the pair disembarked at a stopover in Abu Dhabi. All 104 passengers and 11 crew, mostly South Koreans, were killed. 1997 - Lee Han-young, a North Korean defector, was shot and killed in South Korea by two assailants who were never caught but were suspected to be North Korean agents. Lee was the cousin of Kim Jong Nam, who was killed in Kuala Lumpur on Monday. 2010 - South Korean authorities arrested two North Korean operatives who it said were on a mission to assassinate Hwang Jang-yop, a defector and a former North Korean Workers’ Party secretary. 2011 - A North Korean agent was jailed in the South for attempting to assassinate Park Sang-hak, a defector from the North, with a poison-tipped needle.

sion that even he may have had a sense of danger, so he began exposing himself in the media and stating his opinions to protect himself and counter North Korea,” Gomi told a talk show on Japan’s NTV. North Korean agents have killed rivals abroad before. South Korea’s spy agency said Kim Jong Nam wrote a letter to Kim Jong Un in 2012 asking that the lives of him and his family be spared, one of the lawmakers said. “Kim Jong Un may have been worried about more and more North Korean elites turning against him after Thae Yong Ho de-

fected to the South,” said Koh Yu-hwan, an expert on the North Korean leadership at Dongguk University in Seoul, referring to last year’s defection by North Korea’s deputy ambassador in London. Numerous North Korean officials have been purged or killed since Kim Jong Un took power following his father’s death in 2011. Those include his uncle Jang Song Thaek, who was considered the country’s second most-powerful person and was believed to have been close to Kim Jong Nam. Jang was executed on Kim Jong Un’s orders in 2013.

Russia tells Trump China lodges protest with India Soda, pizza and salty food up it won’t return over visit by Taiwan legislators liver disease in kids: Study right to formal diplomatic ties LOndOn, FEbRUARy 15 (iAnS): than in not-NASH patients. FEbRUARy 15 clear cut.” Crimea to Ukraine bEiJinG, “It is plausible that dietary fructose India’s ministry of external with other countries. Children who regularly intake fructose (REUtERS): China has MOScOw, FEbRUARy 15 (iAnS): Russia does not return its territories, the Russian Foreign Ministry has said in response to the White House statement that US President Trump was expecting Moscow to return Crimea to Kiev. “We do not return our territories. Crimea is Russian territory,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Wednesday, reaffirming Moscow’s long-standing position that the issue is permanently closed. White House spokesman Sean Spicer said on Tuesday that Trump expected Russia to “return Crimea” to Ukraine. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said his country’s sovereignty over the peninsula could not be discussed as “Russia does not discuss issues related to its territory with foreign partners”, reported Sputnik. According to him, the issue of Crimea had not even been raised in the phone call between Trump and President Vladimir Putin on January 28. The spokesman said Moscow expected the issue to be discussed calmly and in a constructive way once relations with Washington were more positive. He said Putin would patiently explain to the US the so-called coup in Ukraine, which led Crimean citizens to apply for admission into Russia.

lodged a diplomatic protest with India over a visit by a parliamentary delegation from self-ruled Taiwan, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday. Three Taiwanese parliamentarians, led by ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislator Kuan Bi-ling, began their visit to New Delhi on Monday. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a regular press briefing in Beijing that China had lodged “solemn representations” with the Indian government over the issue. “We have always been resolutely opposed to any country with diplomatic relations with China having any form of official exchanges, or establishment of any official institutions, with Taiwan. This position is consistent and

affairs said the visit was informal. “Such informal groups have visited India in the past as well for business, religious and tourist purposes. I understand that they do so to China as well. There is nothing new or unusual about such visits and political meanings should not be read into them,” the ministry said in a statement. A DPP official in Taipei said the legislators were scheduled to return to Taiwan on Thursday and were also in India to visit Taiwanese companies such as China Steel, Taiwan’s biggest steel maker which has a plant there. Despite efforts by China and India to improve ties over recent years, deep suspicions remain, especially over a festering border dispute. China considers Taiwan a wayward province, with no

Beijing has also increasingly squeezed Taiwan’s international space following the election of Tsai Ing-wen as president last year. China suspects she wants to push for the island’s formal independence. Tsai says she wants to maintain peace with China. A longstanding African ally of Taiwan’s, San Tome and Principe, switched diplomatic recognition to Beijing in December. “We have been requiring countries which have diplomatic relations with China to fulfil their commitment to the ‘one China’ principle,” Geng said. Defeated Nationalist forces fled to Taiwan in 1949 after losing a civil war to the Communists. China has never renounced the use of force to bring Taiwan under its control.

present in soda, sweetened beverages, pizza and salty food, biscuits, yogurt may be be prone to liver disease, researchers warn. According to a study, led by researchers from Bambino Gesu Hospital in Italy, dietary fructose increases serum uric acid concentrations. Both uric acid concentration and fructose consumption may be high in individuals with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) -- a condition where extra fat is accumulated in liver cells in people who drink little or no alcohol. It is estimated to affect up to 30 per cent of the general population in Western countries and up to 9.6 per cent of all children and 38 per cent of obese children across a spectrum of liver disease, including NASH (defined as steatosis, hepatocyte ballooning and inflammation). Although NASH is a less aggressive form of NAFLD, it can progress to severe fibrosis and cirrhosis, with development of hepatocellular carcinoma in adults. The findings suggested that fructose consumption was independently associated with high uric acid, which occurred more frequently in patients with NASH

intake and uric acid concentrations are potential risk factors for liver disease progression in NAFLD,” said Valerio Nobili from Bambino Gesu Hospital in Italy. “The study shows for the first time that uric acid concentrations and dietary fructose consumption are independently and positively associated with NASH,” Nobili added. For the study, reported in the Journal of Hepatology, the team analysed 271 obese children and adolescents with NAFLD -- 155 males, mean age 12.5 years -- who underwent liver biopsy. Nearly 90 per cent were found drinking sodas and soft drinks one or more times a week. Almost 95 per cent of patients regularly consumed morning and afternoon snacks consisting of crackers, pizza and salty food, biscuits, yogurt, or other snacks. The development of NASH may markedly affect life expectancy and quality of life in affected individuals. Thus, “it is crucial to understand the risk factors for NASH in children and adolescents in order to design effective interventions,” Nobili said.

Nepali women row against tide of discrimination on tourist lake POKHARA, FEbRUARy 15 (tHOMSOn REUtERS FOUndAtiOn): Batuli Bhujel weaves deftly through the colourful wooden boats and paddles into the shore of Phewa Lake in west Nepal, stepping lightly out of her boat and steadying it as she helps her young passengers off. For years, Bhujel has paddled tourists out at dawn to be rewarded with majestic views of the snowcapped Himalayas reflected in the glassy waters. But the 60-year-old wonders whether she will be able to do this work much longer. “Quite often my whole body hurts, so I just rest for a day or two. If I had other sources of income, I would not have done this job,” she said, tugging the boat onto firm ground. Bhujel is one of only about 30 women among 250 men who row boats commercially on Phewa Lake, the leading attraction

in Pokhara, a resort town 150 km (90 miles) northwest of the Nepali capital Kathmandu. Working on the lake gives women like Bhujel some independence in a country where women are often destined to a life of servitude to their in-laws as well as denied the same access as men to education, health and jobs. Parents, particularly in rural areas, often see no benefit in educating their daughters since they leave home to live with their husbands and in-laws after marriage. Although school attendance numbers in Nepal are improving, only 66% of girls attend secondary school compared with 74% of boys, the U.N. children’s agency UNICEF says. “BADMOUTHED” Like many others on the lake, Laxmi Nepali has never stepped inside a classroom. Married at the age of 15, she is among almost 40 percent of girls in Nepal

who are wed before their 18th birthday even though the legal age for marriage in the country is 20. After giving birth to her son at the age of 18, Nepali’s husband abandoned her. Shortly after, her parents took in their grandson but disowned their daughter. “Deep inside I’m heartbroken, but I don’t feel anything,” said Nepali, whose second marriage also ended, leaving her to bring up a 10-year-old daughter alone. The Phewa Boat Association, in charge of boat hire on Phewa Lake and nearby Begnas Lake, allows anyone over 16 to row their boats with no training, and offers equal pay to women and men. Even though the association treats male and female workers as equals, women sometimes face discrimination from their colleagues and passengers. Passengers - Nepali men, in particular - sometimes refuse to get in a woman’s boat. “The first thing

they do is look at my face, and some get annoyed and go to another boat, saying they don’t want to go with an old woman like me,” said Bhujel. “It feels bad when people say nasty things but what can you do?” Nepali, who said she used to be “badmouthed” and verbally abused over her job, recalled a group of boys who at first refused to allow a woman to row them across the lake. They eventually hired her, persuaded by others who advised, “by appearance she looks like a woman, but she is like a man”. In 2015, she competed against male rowers in a boat race on Begnas Lake and came second, winning 3,000 rupees ($28) in prize money, about six times her daily earnings. “I was given a lot of respect, even here,” said Nepali, who eschews the traditional saris or tunics and trousers that other women wear for Western clothes.

60 year old Batuli Bhujel is one of the few women who row boats commercially for tourists in Phewa lake in Pokhara, Nepal. (REUTERS Photo)

en on Phewa Lake who only row small boats seating up to six people, Nepali operates the larger twin-hulled boats, earning fractionally more than the others. The average fee paid by tourists for an hour on a boat is 500 EARNINGS rupees ($5) with the skipUnlike the other wom- per getting just 100 rupees.

Boatwomen hope to earn around 500 rupees a day, plus tips, but sometimes they leave emptyhanded. When business is quiet, Bhujel, Nepali and the others may only get a turn every two or three days. Foreign tourists tend to be the meanest tippers,

Bhujel said. “If they speak Nepali, we tell them we can’t even get a cup of tea with 10 or 20 rupees but foreigners don’t understand us. We don’t understand them, so whatever little they give, we just accept it,” she said. To boost their earnings, espe-

cially after the devastating earthquake in 2015 led to a drop in tourist numbers, many of the boatwomen seek casual work elsewhere including on construction sites, breaking and carrying stones. “I feel I have become like a man and even my heart has become like that of a man,” said Nepali, stabbing the lake with her oar. She sees education as the way out of poverty for her daughter, but it is a constant battle to make ends meet. State schools are free for all children but parents still need to find money for uniforms and stationery. Sometimes they are forced to pay annual admission and exam fees. “I don’t have any dreams for myself but I have dreams for my daughter, to provide her with an education so that she does well,” Nepali said. “My wish is that people look at her and say, no matter how I am, I have raised my daughter well.”


10

ThursDAY 16•02•2017

public discourse

THE MORUNG EXPRESS

The Road further ahead for Nagaland A proposal to establish a Legislative Council to check on the dictatorial tendencies of the Legislative Assembly Yanpvuo Kikon (Yan)

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hen any problem arises, it is important to carry out a root cause analysis of the problem. This will not only help us in selfintrospection but also give us a deeper understanding as to why such a major conflict exploded. If we analyse our political structure like how we software engineers identify a problem in our software application by using a technique called ‘debugging’, we use a very practical method of running through the entire software code line by line, identity the bugs in the code and then rectify the code to create a stable software application. Using this same technique in the context of social and political science, if we try to debug the root cause of the current political imbroglio in Nagaland we can identify a number of bugs in our political structure which needs to be rectified in order to create a stable political system for our State. The problem which has been identified in our problem system is debugged as below: There are two major power pillars in Naga society, namely the Legislators and the Tribal Leaders. At present, the pow-

er of legislation lies only with the legislators in the Nagaland Legislative Assembly (Vidhan Sabha/Lower House). Only the Nagaland Legislative Assembly has the power to create laws for the State as prescribed in the State List and also the power to use Article 371A through a resolution in the NLA to shield us from any Act of Parliament in the Union List/Concurrent List. In the recent imbroglio which started off with the Tribal Representatives opposing Women Reservation and then the Land Tax and the ULB Act itself because of the apprehension with the legalities and conflicts of interest between Schedule IX, Article 243T and Naga Customary Laws protected by Article 371A of the Indian Constitution. The major conflict of interest arose mainly due to differences between the two power pillars – NLA(Nagaland Legislative Assembly) and Tribal Leaders wherein the Legislative Assembly(Vidhan Sabha) led by the Chief Minister drifted towards a more dictatorial position this time by claiming to be vested with the full power by the Constitution to make and execute laws in the interest of

the people without heeding to the wisdom of the elder ones. On the other hand, the Tribal Leaders resorted to crippling the Government machinery and complete shutdown of the State for more than 10 days now because of the simple fact that the Nagaland Legislative Assembly led by the Chief Minister did not include their demands in finalizing the Municipal Act and went ahead forcefully to conduct the elections. Analysing the above tussle of power and conflicts of interest between the two entities, we can easily identify the bug in our existing political structure which gives full legislative powers only to the Nagaland Legislative Assembly and completely leaves out the Tribal Leaders from this legislation process. Consultations were held but are meaningless if the official act of drafting the legislation is devoid of the aspirations of the Tribal representatives. The existing system will continue to be flawed and such conflicts will keep arising in the future unless the bug is fixed and the system is rectified. As highlighted by Wapong Longkumer during our many online brain storming ses-

sions in The Naga Blog, this debugging process has led to a problem within our political structure which could be rectified through a very special provision in our Constitution – Article 169 which states that the State Assembly simply needs to pass a resolution demanding the creation of a Legislative Council (Upper House) in addition to our existing unicameral system of having only a Legislative Assembly which has the tendency to become dictatorial as witnessed recently. The demand needs to highlight the special case in tribal states like Nagaland where the wisdom of Tribal leaders should be included in the legislative process. The stability of a bicameral legislative system comes from the ability of the two houses to check each other's power. This prevents a dictatorship of the majority and avoids the passing of legislation based merely on popularity in the lower house but allows passing of quality legislation and ultimately avoid conflicts in the streets. As of 2016, 7 out of 29 states in India have a bicameral system with a legislative council in addition to a legislative as-

sembly. Members of Legislative Councils (MLC) are chosen from members of local bodies, wherein for Nagaland each Tribal Hoho can have at least one MNC at the Legislative Council. One-sixth of the members are nominated by the Governor from among those having substantial knowledge or practical experience in the field of arts, literature, science, social service, etc. Rest of the upper house members are chosen from graduates and teachers associated with academic institutions. For Nagaland, we can also include capable and eminent women leaders as MNC’s. The size of the Legislative Council cannot be more than one-third the membership of the Legislative Assembly. However, its size cannot be less than 40 members (except in Jammu and Kashmir, where there are 36 by an Act of Parliament). All the civil unrest, burning of buildings and even the death of two young future leaders could have been averted if we had a political system which allowed the legislation passed in the Assembly to have official concurrence from an Upper House comprising of our Tribal

Leaders and other wise leaders. Calling on Article 169 will in no way infringe upon Article 371A because, we already have the lower house in existence for over 50 years which has not infringed upon our Article 371A till date. The power of this Article has remained intact till today and will continue to protect our customary practices even in the future. The political turmoil which we have witnessed today can also be resolved if the power of legislation is shared and checked legally between the elected legislators and the upper house, the tribal council. The real purpose of a Council as the name itself suggests that it is the elder one who through their experience can act as the friend, philosopher and guide of the Legislative Assembly to bring in the element of WISDOM while drafting the most inclusive and effective legislations for the people. This will also avert conflicts to be witnessed in the streets and newspapers by converting them into civilized and productive arguments and debates in the legislative process. Most of the problems in our society arose because we in-

stalled an incompatible political system in our unique Naga society. Unlike other States, Nagaland has a unique history and culture and we require a political system which can allow a harmonious compatibility between our traditional system and the modern democracy to complement one another and allow progress by being strongly rooted in our Naga heritage. Establishing the Legislative Assembly at the earliest in the honour of our three brothers who lost their lives will be the most sensible step to take in the road further ahead for Nagaland which will enable a civilized form of making laws in harmony and synthesis in the interest of the people. Only trying to blame one another, finding fault and trying to prove ourselves right will lead us nowhere. What Naga people need right now is hope to pick up these pieces of broken dreams and work together to build ourselves a better tomorrow. We may have apprehensions but at this very moment each one of us need to look at the glass half full and try to take even one step forward towards building our dream Nagaland.

A call to intercede and pray for Nagaland The World and Time in Reverse:

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Sentiyula A Along

s there anyone reading this who is not feeling restless at the state of affairs in our state? I am sure every sane person feels the weight of what has been happening in the past few weeks. We are in fact, in a state of mourning, singing a lament as it were for the loss of lives, houses and land. No one is exempted from singing this death dirge. Danger has arrived at the doorstep of all, irrespective of status , position and gender. How long this period of mourning will continue depends on our response today. If we want to bring about a change in the situation, it can only be achieved through the intervention of our Almighty God. But how do we bring the presence of our Holy Father into this dark part of the world? We can invite Him into our midst by waking up from our lethargic state and invoking His presence. Let us exercise our authority as fellow siblings of Jesus Christ seated in the heavenly places to intercede for our land and our people. This authority is Godgiven and no human institution can give it to us nor take it from us. And by exercising this authority we can bring the glorious presence of God to shed light on us. But where do we start? Through intercession. Intercession is a Kingdom authorised activity every believer can take part in (Matthew 10: 1- “ HE CALLED THE TWELVE DISCIPLES TO HIM AND GAVE THEM AUTHORITY TO DRIVE OUT EVIL SPIRITS AND TO HEAL EVERY DISEASE AND SICKNESS “). Through intercession, we can chase demons and help the sick get healed. When we intercede for others, we become history makers. How? When a sick person about to die gets healed through our prayers, do we not change the history of that person and his/her family? When a demon possessed person or an addict gets free from their bondage, is not his/her history changed? Therefore Naga history can be changed for the better by the very people reading this. But if we do not heed this call for intercession and remain mute spectators, we will also be held responsible for the decay of our society. Yes, God is calling each of us to release the Kingdom through our lives and through our prayers. We are called to be reformers through our intercessory powers. Then how do we intercede or who do we intercede for? An intercessor is someone who prays exclusively for others. There are many intercessors in Nagaland. The numerous prayer centres in Nagaland are an example. But just the peo-

ple in the prayer centres praying day and night for Nagaland is not enough. All believers have to intercede in earnest for our land. We can no longer leave the reformation of our society to some counsellors, missionaries or church leaders and think that our land will be healed by their prayers alone. An intercessor is a go-between between two groups which do not see eye to eye. An intercessor stands in the middle taking a middle position. He/she is the person “standing in the gap”. God is looking for people to stand in the gap. If you see a person whose sins have separated him from the love of God, you can pray for his/her needs and wait expectantly to see that prayer answered in his/her life. EZEKIEL 22:30 says “ AND I SOUGHT A MAN AMONG THEM WHO SHOULD BUILD UP THE WALL AND STAND IN THE GAP BEFORE ME FOR THE LAND THAT I SHOULD NOT DESTROY IT.” Are you that person ready to stand in the gap and plead for Nagaland? If we pray only for our needs and wants, it shows how shallow our character is. The more we intercede for others, the less selfish we become. Interceding for others is like sowing seeds. If we want to reap a harvest, we need to sow seeds first. Did we not declare NAGALAND FOR CHRIST? Have we not promised ten thousand missionaries? Have we sowed seeds of prayer that out of the thousands of students that appear exams every year, at least a few hundred will serve God? Declarations without action is useless and promises are made to be kept. We need to galvanise ourselves into action and put our words into action. When we start praying for others, it will automatically bring blessings into our lives. We are often tempted to judge others and that keeps us in bondage. Is there somebody who doesn’t agree with your point of view? Why don’t we start praying for that person instead of passing judgement over him/her. That way, you will be a blessing to him/her and you will also make faster progress towards the fulfilment of your own destiny. Praying for others releases us from our bondage too. The foremost intercessor is Jesus Christ, our High Priest. He intercedes for sinful humanity to our Holy Father. His constant intercession is protecting us from the wrath of God. HEBREWS 7:25 clearly says “THEREFORE HE IS ABLE TO SAVE COMPLETELY THOSE WHO COME TO GOD THROUGH HIM, BECAUSE HE ALWAYS LIVES TO INTERCEDE FOR THEM.” That is the reason why we end our prayers

in Jesus’ name! How powerful is this intercessor that his very name should save us. Every believer is an intercessor. Praying, thanksgiving, praise, worship and intercession do not require any special spiritual gift! It is the birthright of every believer. It is an equal opportunity given to every believer. All of us can intercede and help Jesus in the task of intercession. And it is not an obligation but an honour that we should fulfil with hopeful expectation. The Bible tells us to pray continually. 1 THESSALONIANS 5:16-17 says “ BE JOYFUL ALWAYS; PRAY CONTINUALLY; GIVE THANKS IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES, FOR THIS IS GOD’S WILL FOR YOU IN CHRIST JESUS.” Prayer is God’s will. God himself exhorts us to pray because he delights in our prayers. We are fond of saying, “I don’t think God hears my prayers”. No, not only does He hear them but He delights in them. And He wants us to rejoice and give thanks in all circumstances. Abraham is one of the first great intercessors of the Bible. His most famous intercessory prayer was for one of the most sinful places in the world- Sodom and Gomorrah! Yet this “Father of Faith”, the “Friend of God” interceded passionately that the twin cities of sin be spared! Why did God reveal His plan to destroy the cities to Abraham considering that he did not even live there? Maybe it was because of Abraham’s compassion. Abraham prayed that the cities be not destroyed if there were 50 righteous people living there, bringing the number down to 45, 40, 30,20 and finally 10( Genesis 18:24-32). Fellow believers, why is God asking us to pray that Nagaland not be destroyed? Perhaps He has seen your compassion and deep love for Nagaland. He is inviting you to pray. He was not angry with Abraham for pleading non-stop and He will not be angry with us for pleading for our children, for our wives, for our husbands, and for our leaders. Only when we stop praying will God stop answering. God quits when man quits. Remember, we are God’s chosen people. We cannot stop believing in and should keep claiming the promises of God. Be tenacious. Never give up. Let us return to the word “authority” again. Believers have the authority to keep violence from happening in their areas and communities. We can stop shootings and killings from happening in the first place. Adam gave authority of Earth over to Satan but with the Resurrection of Christ we can take back the authority again. This authority comes with the New Birth. But believ-

ers must know how to operate it. Every believer has authority because he/she is seated up in the heavenly places with Jesus. The principles of the authority of believers is written in the book of Ephesians (Chapter 1:17-23). When we became born again, we received the power called Resurrection Power that seated us along with Jesus Christ in the Right hand of God. This God we worship is so powerful that there are no words to describe it. It is incomparable and beyond description. When Jesus died and was raised up by God, it shows that his sacrifice for the sins of mankind was accepted. We became children of God through the resurrection of Christ. And as siblings of Jesus Christ, we have power “FAR ABOVE ALL RULE AND AUTHORITY, POWER AND DOMINION, AND EVERY TITLE THAT CAN BE GIVEN NOT ONLY IN THE PRESENT AGE BUT ALSO IN THE ONE TO COME.”(Ephesians 1: 21). Therefore, exercising this authority, let us use the blood of Jesus to draw a line of protection over our communities. And surely, we will see peace manifested in our society, a peace which may not necessarily be the absence of strife but the blessing of tranquillity. And this tranquillity is the reconciliation between God and man based on faith and union with the Lord Jesus Christ. 1 THESSALONIANS 1: 2 says “WE ALWAYS THANK GOD FOR ALL OF YOU, MENTIONING YOU IN OUR PRAYERS. WE CONTINUALLY REMEMBER BEFORE OUR GOD AND FATHER YOUR WORK PRODUCED BY FAITH, YOUR LABOUR PROMPTED BY LOVE, AND YOUR ENDURANCE INSPIRED BY HOPE IN OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST.” This passage talks about Intercession and Holy Friendship. It raised Christians to such a state of mutual love that it exceeded all that was praised in human friendship. And when this same spirit of intercession is again in the world, as it was in the time when Paul this letter to fellow Christians, then Christianity will have the same power over the hearts of people now as it had then. Holy friendship will again be in fashion and believers will again be the wonder of the world because of the great love they bear for each other. God is love and He wants us to love one another with the same kind of love with which He loves us. Let us raise our level of intercession so that the enmity that we bear to our fellow believers will be replaced by that of Holy Friendship and show the world that indeed, Nagaland is for Christ. Amen.

The March Back to the Primitive

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Robert A. Silverstein

ivil strife therefore became a fact of political life…. Men assumed the right to reverse the usual values in the application of words and actions. Reckless audacity came to be thought of as comradely courage, while farsighted hesitation became well-disguised cowardice; moderation was a front for unmanliness…. Wild aggression was a mark of manhood, while careful planning for one’s future security was a glib excuse for evasion. The troublemaker was always to be trusted, the one who opposed him was to be suspected. “… the ties of family became less close than those of party since party members had no inhibitions about any venture. Their associations did not exist to promote welfare in accordance with established laws but to subvert the law for selfish advantage. “At the root of all this was the desire for power, based on personal greed and ambition, and the consequent fanaticism of those competing for control.” (My emphasis. Thucydides: The War of the Peloponnesians and the Athenians. Cambridge University Press, 2013, pp. 212-213.) The above words were written over 2,400 years ago by the first historian in the Western world. And they describe precisely what is happening today in Nagaland. The “Media Cell, NTAC, Kohima,” states: First, “You [TR Zeliang] may not know but we that the ULB election is completely a state affair. Knowingly or ignorantly, you had been trying to mislead the people by saying that your government was only trying to fulfil a constitutional obligation. “Your fear ‘that the fate and content of Article 371 (A) was on the verge of being decided by the Supreme Court ….that Article 243T had superseded Article 371 (A)’ is very unfounded and at its best a glaring exhibition of your total ignorance of the constitutional provision itself. No wonder, your low mental aptitude even as Chief Minister of the Nagaland has landed the society into this state of affairs.” It is fair to say here, that the arrogance and certainty of the NTAC makes its incorrectness even more embarrassing that it would have been if it was not so insulting to the Chief Minister. If the NTAC is going to not just attack the positions of the Chief Minister, but his mental capacities as well, one would think that it would confirm with someone who knows the law that it is correct, because in this case, the NTAC is wrong. I will spare the NTAC any personal attack, and simply say that 243T implicates sections 14 and 15, respectively, of the Indian Constitution, which state that, “The state will not deny to any person equality before the law or equal protection of the laws within the territories of India,” and “(1) The state shall not discriminate against any citizen on grounds only of race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them.” (My emphasis.) The fact that 243T is attempting to remedy perceived discrimination against women on political bodies, that could very well put aspects of 371 (A) in conflict with sections 14 and 15 of the Indian Constitution, sections under the heading of “FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS.” Such fundamental rights, it is fair to say, could easily supersede aspects of 371 (A). Therefore, the Media Cell of the NTAC is simply wrong, and the Chief Minister is correct in this case. Second, the NTAC states that the government, by passing a law that it felt compelled to pass under the Indian Constitution, caused “the people to rise against the government.” Actually, this statement is a classic example of Thucydides’ “Men assum[ing] the right to reverse the usual values in the application of words and actions.” The NTAC, the JCC, or any other group or individual could have easily done what the NMA did: it could have taken its theory of why 371 (A) was “completely a

state affair,” to the courts and found out whether it was right by seeing if the courts would adopt the NTAC’s position. But the NTAC, the JCC, and their followers chose not to take the legal route, and took the law in their own hands, and therefore it is they who “caus[ed] the people to rise up against the government,” not the other way around. The fact that the NTAC, the JCC, and their followers keep repeating the mantra that the government is at fault for all the property damage and blood spilled concerning this issue does not make it the truth. In fact, the more it’s repeated the more one feels that the repetition is caused by the fear that, one day soon, the people will wake up and find that they, under the leadership of these organizations, are at fault for everything that has happened. Now the JCC has expanded the blame from the state government to others. It states, “The Governor is reminded that the situation is spiraling out of control with the passage of time and the failure of the Governor to act on it, will result in serious catastrophe for which the Governor and the Chief Minister will be held solely responsible.” (My emphasis.) So if I am reading the above statement correctly, the JCC is threatening “serious catastrophe” if it does not get what it wants, even though their very actions, from the first bandh to this minute, have all been illegal, and it is the actions of the JCC and the NTAC, and their followers alone, who are legally responsible for all that has happened or will happen. That these groups will keep babbling about moral obligations on the part of the Chief Minister to resign, and the moral betrayal by the Chief Minister to respect the agreement of January 30th, the principle is the same: if the Chief Minister is guilty of anything related to these whole series of events, the remedy has always been, and still is, in the courts, using the legal system. But that has not happened, and will continue not to happen, because the JCC and its followers know that in a court of law they might lose, despite the assurances NTAC that 371 (A) is “completely a state affair.” Fear of losing must, logically, be the only reason that the groups did not use the courts or, we must presume, they certainly would have utilized them and thus avoided all the intimidation and violence that they have used to attempt to accomplish their goals. Lastly, the AYO Media Cell has this absurdity in print today: “The government today is acting like Hitler Nazi Germany era employing all subversive measures and propaganda to the extent of unleashing murderous state sponsored terror.” Huh? Was it the government that threatened “serious catastrophe” or was that the JCC’s Media Cell in today’s papers? As a Jew with some familiarity with six million of my fellow Jews who were exterminated by the Nazis and their followers in many countries, I can say that the analogy of the Nazi regime with the present government of Nagaland is a rather poor one, and if any tactics are analogous to the Nazis it’s the tactics of the JCC, the NTAC, and their followers to threaten “serious catastrophe,” and then to add, that if that happens it will be the fault not of those causing it, but of the government and the Governor. The way this whole issue of women’s reservation on ULBs has been handled is nothing but a trip back to a primitive past, where force controlled, not the rule of law. It is this sort of conduct, as much as other reasons related to India itself, which makes clear how unprepared the people of Nagaland are to be a separate and sovereign nation in the world, a world that is run, or attempts to be run, by the rule of law, both nationally and internationally. The people of Nagaland are marching backward into their past, as tribal communities in which each were laws unto themselves. Backward into a primitive history that makes them unworthy of even being recognized as a state within India, let alone a nation among civilized nations.

Readers may please note that the contents of the articles, letters and opinions published do not reflect the outlook of this paper nor of the Editor in any form.


Thursday 16•02•2017

EntErtainmEnt

Justin BieBer to rock Mumbai on May 10

Harrison Ford (pictured inside his Husky Aviat A-1C before a takeoff from Santa Monica airport on Monday) had a near miss on Monday when he almost crashed his single-engine plane into a Boeing 737. The actor, who was in a serious plane crash in 2015, had been instructed to land on runway 20-L at John Wayne Airport in Orange County. But the 74-year-old mistakenly aimed for a taxiway, just passing over an American Airlines 737 loaded with more than 100 passengers and a six-person crew. The Federal Aviation Administration say that controllers had given Ford clear instructions to land on the runway, as landing on a taxiway is a safety violation. They say the actor read the instructions back yet still somehow ended up aiming for the taxiway. The American Airlines flight 1546 was still able to take off for Dallas just minutes after the incident. The FAA has now launched an investigation which could result in anything from a warning letter to Ford losing his licence. Ford, a vintage plane collector, has been involved in a number of crashes over the years. (Source: Mail Online)

Ben Affleck ‘doesn’t want to be Batman anymore’: Report

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rammy award winner and global pop sensation Justin Bieber will make his way to India with his Purpose World Tour in May. The 22-year-old Canadian singer-songwriter will perform hits like "Where Are Ace Now", "Boyfriend", "Love Yourself", "Company", "As Long As You Love Me", "What Do You Mean?", "Baby" and "Purpose", at the DY Patil Stadium here on May 10. "Justin Bieber is the biggest artiste of our time and attracts a universal fan base across all ages. This tour is one of the most successful in the world at the moment and will further enhance India's current cultural repertoire," Arjun Jain, Director, White Fox India, the sole promoters of the tour, said in a statement. The organisers are working towards making it one of the biggest live music act witnessed in recent times in India. "Justin Bieber will be bringing an extraordinarily epic show propelled by state of the art production and of a magnitude that the coun-

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try has not witnessed in recent times. There are few artistes who warrant such a dedicated fan base as Justin Bieber," Jain said. "He enjoys over 80 per cent dedicated fan following in India and we envisage one of the biggest live events of the year," Jain added. The negotiations for bringing the Purpose Tour to India were on for six months. "We are expecting a full house on May 10... This tour will place India on the global map and open up avenues for other artistes of the similar stature who may want to consider India as part of their touring roster," Jain said. Bieber's latest jaunt is in support of his fourth album "Purpose", wherein he has experimented with more exploratory electronic sounds. Apart from India, the Asia leg of the tour comprises Tel Aviv in Israel and Dubai in the UAE. The 'Beliebers' fans of Bieber in India, can pre-register for tickets at www.bookmyshow.com from February 22. These will be priced Rs 4,000 upwards.

fter abruptly dropping out as director of the solo Batman movie at the end of January, new reports have emerged that suggest Ben Affleck wants to quit the Batman business altogether. According to Collider Movie Talk’s John Campea, “three separate people, who are connected in some way, to what is going on over at Warner Bros.” have told him that “Ben Affleck, make no mistake,” wants out of the DC Extended Universe of films. “He doesn’t want to be Batman anymore.” “There are certain characters who hold a special place in the hearts of millions,” Affleck said in a statement released January 31. “Performing this role demands focus, passion and the very best performance I can give.” Affleck has played the Dark Knight twice - in 2016’s Batman v Superman:

Adele to record girl power anthem with Beyonce

Source: Hindustan Times

Guns N' Roses get booed for forgetting the City they're playing in

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dele may have defeated Beyonce at the 2017 Grammy Awards by winning best album of the year trophy, but the singer is reportedly set to record a girl power anthem with the pop diva. After delivering an emotional acceptance speech honoring Queen Bey, the British soul diva is trying to record a duet with the "Sandcastles" singer, reported Radar Online. "Adele is a huge Beyonce fan, and it was her idea to team up together. This is going to be a girl power anthem! "They're still talking about what they want to do. But this is going to be one of the biggest duets of all time. These two getting together will set the music business on fire!," a source said. The two divas are still talking about the possible duet as the source added. Neither Adele's nor Beyonce's representative has responded to the report.

Source: IANS

Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad - and he is set to reprise his role in November’s Justice League film. Both films were met with harsh critical reception, although they were box office successes. Affleck’s recent directorial effort Live by Night was both panned by critics and a major box office bomb for Warners. Last week, Warner Bros. hired his replacement as Batman director - Planet of the Apes’ Matt Reeves. Campea notes that Affleck’s worries have extended to the point that he is “talking with Warner Bros. in an attempt to get out of being Batman. If they do not let him out of being Batman, that the stand alone Batman film that ultimately happens, will be the last time we see Affleck as Batman, because he apparently wants out.”

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hen Guns N' Roses hit the stage for their Not in This Lifetime concert on Tuesday night (Feb. 14) in Australia, their longtime instrument tech and announcer McBob shouted "Sydney!" to the crowd. Unfortunately, the show was in Melbourne. The Melbourne audience immediately responded in a chorus of boos at the mistake. After the show, the band apologized on Facebook, writing: “Melbourne! Accidentally after 30 years McBob made an error, we’re truly sorry. Thank you for coming out tonight!” The reunion tour includes the band’s founder Axl Rose as well as Slash and Duff McKagan, but original guitarist Izzy Stradlin has not rejoined so far. Slash and McKagan also apologized for the mix-up on Twitter.

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on Israeli settlements, published on Friday (10Feb17). Baldwin first started impersonating Trump on Saturday Night Live in October, 2016, during parodies of the presidential debates. He hosted the show for a record 17th time on Saturday (11Feb17). El Nacional followed up the flub with an apology in its Sunday (12Feb17) edition, asking forgiveness from anyone who was offended.

S tech giant Apple unveiled the first glimpse of the future of series-TV programming on Apple Music with trailers for its first two series. Footage of both unscripted series was unveiled. Officials said they are planning a spring launch date. Eddy Cue, Apple's senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, said "Karaoke" will premiere in April, while no specific date has been set for "Planet", reports variety.com. "Four years from now, I don't know where we're going to be in relation to this (Apple's strategy with regard to Hollywood)," said Cue, who skirted queries on whether Apple could potentially acquire a studio. "We're trying different things. How fast it grows or where it goes remains to be seen," he said. "Karaoke", in each episode, will feature celebrities such as John Legend with Alicia Keys and Billy Eichner with Metallica. There are rumours that Apple is already producing "Vital Signs", its first scripted series with Dr. Dre, Cue made no mention of the series. Questioned about comparing its business to that of Netflix, Cue said: "We're not out trying to buy a bunch of shows. We're trying things that are creative, that move culture, that Apple is adding some value to. We'll see."

Source: Contactmusic

revIseD TICKeT rATes (silver) : `.120 (Gold) : `. 200 (recliner) : `. 400

Source: Billboard

Source: PTI

Alec Baldwin mistaken for Apple unveils its sofia Vergara calls President Trump in Newspaper first two TV series husband 'Hindu monk'

he editors of one of the Dominican Republic's oldest newspapers, El Nacional, have apologised to readers for mistaking Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump. The actor mimics the U.S. President on sketch show Saturday Night Live and it seems his impersonation fooled picture editors into thinking The Cooler star was in fact the American leader. The picture of Alec as Trump accompanied a story about the President's stance

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Source: IANS

Recovering from memory loss, Kanye West focuses on fashion comeback

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wo months after being hospitalized for exhaustion and still recovering from memory loss, Kanye West is expected to make his first major public appearance at New York Fashion Week, his producer revealed. West, who was hospitalized after abruptly canceling the remainder of his "Pablo" tour following a week of curtailed concerts and rants about politics, is expected to be at Wednesday's New York presentation of his latest Yeezy collection of high-end athleisure wear for sports brand Adidas. Music producer Malik Yusef said he has visited with the rapper recently and that West was focused on his recovery and spending time with his two young children with wife, reality star Kim Kardashian. "His memory's coming back," said Yusef, who

worked with West on "The Life of Pablo" album that was nominated for eight Grammy awards. Yusef's remarks to celebrity news outlet PopSugar at Sunday's Grammy awards were the first details of West's recovery after his sudden hospitalization in November for what was first said to be exhaustion. Representatives for the 39-year-old rapper did not offer any explanation for West's 10-day hospitalization last year and did not return requests for comment on Tuesday on the remarks about memory loss. The fashion event is likely to be a family affair for West. Kim Kardashian posted on social media on Tuesday that she was on her way to New York. Both Kim and Kanye were a no-show at the Grammy Awards. Kardashian's mother, Kris Jenner, told celebrity outlet E! that

West did not attend the Grammys because he was working on his fashion presentation. "He's got a lot of work to do," Jenner said. People Magazine, citing unnamed sources, said Kardashian was worried that the fashion show would cause West undue stress. West's previous collections have often been a spectacle and are a popular stop during the New York Fashion Week celebrations. Yeezy collections have regularly sold out. A year ago, more than 20 million viewers watched online as the rapper debuted his "Pablo" album at Manhattan's Madison Square Garden alongside the presentation of his Yeezy season 4 collection, which featured a diverse group of models dressed in leotards, tops, leggings and parkas in neutral tones.

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ctress Sofia Vergara says her husband Joe Manganiello has such a calming effect on her that she calls him her Hindu monk. Vergara has learned how to meditate from her 40-year-old husband, reports femalefirst.co.uk. "Joe is very spiritual and deals with everything very well. I call him my Hindu monk. I'm all, 'Aaaaaaaaahhhhh' and he's like... Nothing," Vergara told HOLA! Magazine. "One day he suddenly Source: Reuters put his head in his hands

11:00 AM | 02:00 PM 08:00 PM and said, 'Oh my God'. I didn't see his face or his smile and said, 'Ayyy, what happened? Who died?' It was terrible. I had never seen him with his head in his hands like that. "He said nothing nothing. Sorry. It's just that I got this part in the movie.' He laughed and I was going crazy. It was his dream role. Thank goodness he showed me how to meditate... Finding Joe has brought me a lot of peace. A very profound calm," she added. Source: IANS

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A Di Maria special as PSG thrash Barca

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PARIS, FEBRUARY 15 (REUTERS): Paris St Germain's Angel Di Maria was at his vintage best as he scored twice on his birthday in a 4-0 first-leg demolition of a ragged Barcelona side who now have a mountain to climb in their Champions League last-16 clash. The Argentina winger, 29, scored in each half with PSG's Germany midfielder Julian Draxler and Uruguay striker Edinson Cavani also finding the net as the French champions tore apart a disorganised Barca side who have it all to do in the return. PSG, eliminated by the Catalans in the Champions League quarter-finals in 2013 and 2015, were the more aggressive side at the Parc des Princes and have put themselves in a commanding position ahead of the March 8 second leg at the Camp Nou. Five-times European champions Barca, with their trident of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar subdued, have not exited in the last 16 since going out to Liverpool in the 2006/07 season and the score equalled their worst Champions league loss. "It's impossible to have a better performance and birthday. I'm very happy with how the team played. It was a wonderful display, fully deserved," said Di Maria, who is getting back to his best since Draxler joined form Vfl Wolfsburg last month. Stunned Barca coach Luis Enrique said of the PSG side: "They are world class players with a lot of quality. Di Maria in particular was very, very good. They have a big attacking po-

Benfica beat wasteful Dortmund

tential are hard in defence and incredible on the ball. The only concern for home coach Unai Emery was the loss of the impressive Marco Verratti to a leg injury in the second half after the Italy international had put on a world class display with fellow midfielder Adrien Rabiot. PSG were dangerous on the break from the start and came close to scoring in the 11th minute when captain Blaise Matuidi's rasping shot was brilliantly parried by keeper MarcAndre ter Stegen after a perfect through ball from Rabiot.

CAVANI STRIKES The home side were rewarded seven minutes later, though, when Di Maria whipped a free kick over the wall into the net. Barcelona continued to play their patient possession game but failed to threaten and their apparent complacency was punished again five minutes before the break. Messi lost the ball in midfield and Verratti slid a perfectly weighted ball to the right for Draxler, who fired a low shot into the far bottom corner of the net. PSG started the second

I-League: East Bengal held by Lajong at home SILIgURI, FEBRUARY 15 (IANS): League leaders East Bengal dropped points at home for the second game in a row as they played out a 1-1 draw against Shillong Lajong in an I-League tie at the Kanchenjunga Stadium here on Wednesday. Fresh from a dour 0-0 stalemate against arch-rivals Mohun Bagan, the red and gold brigade trailed by a Samuel Lalmuanpuia (20th minute) goal for 25 minutes before Willis Plaza (45th) restored parity. But a good show under the bar from Lajong goalkeeper Vishal Kaith prevented the home team from registering a win. The result saw East Bengal stay top of the table with 21 points from nine matches while Lajong moved to fourth with 13 points in their kitty from nine games. It was all East Bengal

in the early stages as Plaza and Wedson Anselme came close while debutant Christopher Payne looked rusty with his first touches. Wedson came close to scoring but Kaith saved well, diving low to his right. But against the run of play, Lajong took the lead. Dipanda Dicka passed wide to Bipin Singh inside the box on the left. An unmarked Bipin then crossed for Lalmuanpuia who headed home. The visitors could have led by two goals moments later, but Dipanda's diving header was parried away by East Bengal custodian T.P. Rehenesh. Plaza scored his sixth goal of the season at the stroke of halftime, turning in Narayan Das' cross with aplomb. Experienced East Bengal defender Arnab Mondal made his season's debut

after the break, replacing Gurwinder Singh at centre back. In the 49th minute, Payne got his first crack at goal but the Australian's shot was meek with Kaith having no difficulty in saving it. East Bengal coach Trevor Morgan replaced U-22 player Nikhil Poojary with Romeo Fernandes in the 71st minute in the hope of a goal. The signs were right as the game-time deprived former Dempo SC winger won a corner with his initial touches but nothing came off it. Kaith pulled off some superb saves to deny East Bengal in the final quarter as Lajong coach Thangboi Singto looked to settle for a point, bringing in defender Dan Ignat in place of goalscorer Lalmuanpuia. In the end, both outfits shared the spoils.

Olympic swimming great Grant Hackett arrested after 'breakdown

NEW YORK, FEBRUARY 15 (REUTERS): Australian long distance swimming great Grant Hackett was arrested and detained by police in the Gold Coast on Wednesday after a "breakdown" at his parents' home, local media reported. The troubled triple Olympic champion's father told local newspaper, the Gold Coast Bulletin, that he had called the police so his 36-year-old son could be given help. "Grant's got a medical problem and it manifested itself here this morning... he was raving and ranting a bit," Neville Hackett told the paper. "He's been receiving treatment from a doctor. He's big and powerful when he's not happy. We decided he needed some treatment but there was no way he was going to go and get treatment this morning, so we called the police. "The only way the police can do anything under the law of the land is to arrest him for domestic violence." Neville Hackett said the swimmer had not made any threats but was not

"what you say is a normal person". Later, Grant's brother Craig told the Australian Associated Press that the swimmer posed a danger to himself and the community. "The Grant Hackett that Australia fell in love with, they can still have that affection towards him," Craig said. "(But) this is not Grant Hackett. This is a completely different person. I don't know this person, my mum and dad don't know this person. He's there in body, but he's not there in mind, soul or spirit.

PAST ISSUES "We can't do it. It's getting to the point where he's dangerous. He's a danger to himself and to the community. "It doesn't look encouraging, but who knows? If he gets the right type of treatment and that's what we're really counting on, maybe, just maybe he might be able to claw himself out of it." Local broadcaster Channel Seven posted video footage of Hackett being driven to a local police station in handcuffs. A Queensland Police

spokesman said a man had been arrested "following a disturbance at a Surfer's Avenue address at Mermaid Waters around midday". Grant Hackett's agent was unavailable for comment. Hackett won 1,500 metres gold at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and at Athens in 2004 before retiring after the 2008 Games in Beijing, where he won silver in the event. The 10-times world champion returned to the pool last year to make an unsuccessful bid to qualify for the Rio Olympics. He was questioned by airport police in Melbourne last April after an altercation with a passenger on a flight. He said he had been binge drinking in the wake of his Olympic disappointment and publicly apologised. Hackett has previously struggled with prescription drug problems and admitted he became dependent on a sleep medication. The swimmer flew to the United States in 2014 to spend time in a rehab centre after he was spotted topless and disoriented in the lobby of a Melbourne casino.

half strongly and went further ahead in the 55th minute when Di Maria danced around Andres Iniesta before curling a 25-metre shot past Ter Stegen. Verratti limped off the pitch in some discomfort after 71 minutes, being replaced by Chris Nkunku. It did not stop PSG from continuing to push forward, though, and a minute later Cavani, who was celebrating his 30th birthday, rifled a low shot past Ter Stegen for his seventh goal in seven games in the competition this season.

The hosts also defended perfectly, with centre back Presnel Kimpembe deputising superbly on his Champions League debut for injured captain Thiago Silva as PSG claimed a deserved victory. Barca had a chance to get an away goal seven minutes from time but Samuel Umtiti's header hit Kevin Trapp's righthand post and Luis Enrique's side now face a huge challenge. No team have ever overturned a deficit of four or more goals to progress in the Champions League knockout stages.

LONDON, FEBRUARY 15 (REUTERS): Benfica made Borussia Dortmund pay for missing a host of chances, as the Portuguese side snatched a 1-0 win in their Champions League last-16 first leg on Tuesday thanks to forward Kostas Mitroglou's 13th goal in his last 13 games. Greece international Mitroglou flicked the ball into the net to open the scoring in the 48th minute and Benfica then held on against their misfiring opponents to take a slender lead into the second leg in Dortmund on March 8. Benfica, who have now not conceded a goal at home for 383 minutes, kept another clean sheet thanks largely to keeper Ederson, who denied the Germans with a string of superb saves. Dortmund, who had netted a record 21 times in the group stage, missed a second-half penalty through Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who also squandered several other scoring chances on a night to forget for the Gabon striker. "We ended up scoring a goal in a situation we had been working for," said Benfica coach Rui Vitoria. "In order to play such teams one has to be prepared to suffer at the limit. We had our problems getting out of our own half to attack. "Now we know what we have to do in the return leg. Scoring a goal there will have a huge impact," the Portuguese said. Benfica, who had striker Jonas ruled out through injury just

before kickoff, got off to an explosive start but Dortmund began to dominate possession and gradually slowed the game down. The visitors, looking to counter their lacklustre domestic form with European success, missed a huge chance when Aubameyang, the Bundesliga's leading scorer, fired over the bar after an outstanding through ball from Ousmane Dembele in the 10th minute. Benfica captain Luisao was making his 500th club appearance and was kept busy at the heart of the Benfica defence, with Dembele sneaking into the box and forcing a superb save from keeper Ederson in the 23rd. Aubameyang then missed another good opportunity before the break and Benfica were quick out of the blocks again after the restart with Mitroglou doing well to control a Luisao header and then beating keeper Roman Buerki from close range. Aubameyang almost drew Dortmund level in the 53rd and then had a penalty, awarded for a hand ball on the hour, saved by Benfica's Brazilian keeper. Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel put Aubameyang out of his misery by substituting him soon after and following a sensational save from Ederson with six minutes left, the hosts held on to celebrate victory. "We cannot do much more than carve out these golden chances," Tuchel told reporters. "We will now need efficiency in the return leg if we are to advance."

Sharapova deserves second chance: Becker MONACO, FEBRUARY 15 (REUTERS): Boris Becker believes Maria Sharapova has paid her dues and deserves a second chance when she returns to tennis in April at the end of her 15-month doping ban. Sharapova, a five-times grand slam champion, failed a dope test for the drug meldonium at the 2016 Australian Open and was suspended for two years by the International Tennis Federation (ITF). The Russian's ban was then cut by nine months by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) last October, meaning the Russian is free to return from April 26. Becker, a three-times Wimbledon champi-

on, said it was right that Sharapova was allowed to return to the sport and hopes her comeback will not cause problems in the locker room. "In principal I am all for a second chance," Becker told Reuters at the Laureus World Sports Awards in Monaco. "She (Sharapova) paid her dues, she was suspended for quite a long time. I don't know about the reaction of the other players, it's up to them. "Everyone has their own choice. Hopefully the atmosphere (inside the locker room) will be good. We can move on and have good women's champions." Sharapova, 29, had called the ITF's original

ruling "unfairly harsh" because she had not intentionally violated anti-doping rules. Meldonium was added to the World Anti-Doping Agency list of banned substances only at the start of 2016 after mounting evidence it boosted blood flow and enhanced perfor-

mance. CAS cut Sharapova's suspension but said she "bore some degree of fault" by relying on agent Max Eisenbud to check the banned list for changes and failing to ensure he had done so. Despite Sharapova's suspension, Becker feels tennis

is a clean sport and that the testing system works. "I think most tennis players are responsible. If you see in the men's side there is no one inside the top 100 (that isn't clean) and in the women's side -I think Maria is the exception -- all of the other tennis players are clean," he said. "Tennis is an Olympic sport so the tests are very severe and strong and the penalties are strong. I think the system works. Maybe it speaks volumes of the system because a high-profile player like Sharapova was caught." German Becker coached current world number two Novak Djokovic for three years until the pair split in December.

I have no reason to stay in athletics, says Bolt

MONACO, FEBRUARY 15 (REUTERS): Jamaican sprint great Usain Bolt says he has no regrets about his decision to retire from athletics in 2017 as he has accomplished everything he wants to in the sport. Bolt will hang up his spikes following the world championships in London in August, bringing the curtain down on a career that has delivered eight Olympic gold medals. “I’ve just done everything I wanted to do in the sport," Bolt told Reuters on the red carpet at the Laureus World Sports Awards in Monaco. “I asked (former U.S. sprinter) Michael Johnson the same question, ‘why did you retire when you were on top?'. He said the same -- he had done everything he had wanted to do in athletics so there was no reason to stay in the sport. Now I understand what he means." Bolt completed a 'treble treble' of 100m, 200m and 4x100m Olympic titles at the 2016 Rio Games, but had his 2008 relay gold stripped last month after team mate Nesta Carter's re-tested sample showed traces of a banned substance. Carter has said he will appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. The 30-year-old Bolt fired his team of international 'All Stars' to victory in the inau-

Usain Bolt of Jamaica smiles as he looks back at his competition, whilst winning the 100-meter semi-final sprint, at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Bolt is regarded as the fastest human ever timed. (REUTERS)

gural Nitro Athletics Series in Melbourne last week. He ran his first individual race of the year, burning away from a modest field for an easy win in the 150m sprint.

“I just wanted to run and to be part of it," he said. "I had to take it easy because I wasn’t at the level I would usually be. It was the first time I had competed at this time of the year.”

Bolt is nominated for the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year award along with back-to-back Olympic 5,000 and 10,000 metres gold medal winner Mo Farah and double

Olympic tennis champion Andy Murray. Real Madrid and Portugal forward Cristiano Ronaldo and basketball duo Stephen Curry and LeBron James are also shortlisted.

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February 16th, 2017  

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