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wednesdAY • JAnuArY 11 • 2017

DIMAPUR • Vol. XII • Issue 09 • 12 PAGes • 5

T H e

ESTD. 2005

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T R u T H

But thus do I counsel you, my friends: distrust all in whom the impulse to punish is powerful! — Friedrich Nietzsche

Amid hacking row, pressure builds on Trump to soften his pro-Russia rhetoric PAGe 09

Changtongya citizens eagerly waiting for ATM recalibration

FIFA agrees to expand World Cup to 48 teams

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Myanmar to fence Naga SAZ bordering India

33 from Wokha & 13 from Tening qualified to contest Construction will not restrict the after scrutiny regular travel of both the peoples in DIMAPUR, JANUARY 10 (MExN): Altogether 33 candidates qualified from the Wokha Town Council election while 13 candidates qualified from the Tening town council for the forthcoming municipal and town council election after scrutiny, reports received from the DIPR informed. In Wokha, Returning Officer, Wokha, Hotolu Swu in the office of the Deputy Commissioner, Wokha on Tuesday, supervised the scrutiny. Out of 15 wards, BJP has filed 13, NPF 12 and 8 Independent candidates. Altogether 12 female candidates will be contesting for the Wokha town council election out of which two female candidates are contesting under general quota. The ADC and RO Thuvisie Phoji scrutinized for the Tening town council election. Papers of thirteen candidates, which include 9 NPF, 3 Independent and 1 Congress were found valid and eligible to contest in the forthcoming election. It should be mentioned that 22 candidates had filed nominations for the Tening town council.

accordance with their tradition and custom, claims Foreign Ministry Morung Express News Dimapur | January 10

The Government of Myanmar has announced that it will erect physical fencing along the Indo-Myanmar border. Myanmar Foreign Ministry on Tuesday announced that it would build the border demarcation fencing with India. This undertaking is expected to seal off around 3500 acres of Khiamniungan Naga land. According to Xinhua news agency, Myanmar will construct the fence in its Naga self-administered zone; 10 metres from the demarcation borderline. However, the construction will not restrict the regular travel of both the peoples in accordance with their tradition and custom, the news agency reported. It is for regional authorities to effectively manage the border affairs, said the statement. While the construction works for the border fencing at Pangsha area

was clearly visible for quite some time, the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India said that India was not involved in the construction of the fence. “Ministry of Home has not proposed any fence on the Indo-Myanmar border. On this issue, the MEA has been apprised as it is their subject. We have told our people that there will be no construction in our zone and also there will no construction in non-construction zone. Assam Rifles will ensure that,” Pradeep Gupta, Joint Secretary (Border Management) in the ministry, told IANS on January 1, 2017. “If the Myanmar government is doing this, then we will ensure that no construction is done in the 10 metres of no-construction zone. The government is trying to clear all the doubts of the locals living in the border areas on this,” said Gupta. However, people at the ground level viewed that judging by the ongo-

Citizens of New Pangsha, Pangsha Old, Dan village and ITC Dan are seen taking out a rally along the jungle clearing demarcated to construct the international fencing to seal off the border at ITC Dan on December 22, 2016.

ing state of affairs at Pangsha clearly indicate that the project of erecting border fencing is not the sole handiwork of Myanmar alone but a collaborative effort with India having a hand. It is feared that the sealing off 3500 acres of Khiamniungan Naga land will result in a loss of livelihood for the people. The Khiamniungan people have

condemned this “policy of separation” and termed the move a “felonious act.” At least, 160 Khiamniungan villages fall under Myanmar. Seeking the urgent attention of both the Indian and Myanmar governments, the Khiamniungan Tribal Council (KTC) had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Myanmar President U. Htin Kyaw, urging them to halt

the fencing work, as they were not consulted on the issue. The Eastern Nagaland People’s Organisation (ENPO), the Naga Hoho and different Naga Political Groups have also unanimously voiced opposition on the ongoing construction of international border fencing along the Indo-Myanmar border at Pangsha village.

The border fencing is a state-sponsored attempt by India and Myanmar to rewrite the history of Nagas, the Naga Hoho had stated. On Monday, the Naga civil society organizations based in Myanmar had also objected to the ongoing fencing project as “direct violation against the rights of the indigenous people.” “We perceive the currently undertaking fencing project in the Naga territories by the concern authorities as an act of insult against all Nagas on earth and direct violation against the rights of the indigenous people,” it said. The Indo-Myanmar border runs for 1,643 km. Fencing along this border is being done in hopes to curtail cross-border crime, including amuggling of goods, arms and counterfeit Indian currency smug drug trafficking, and insurgency. Erecting this fence will however have a negative outcome as it will divide many ethnic communities whose lands straddle the regions between the two countries. While the primary objective of the fence is to control illegal cross-border activities between the two

countries, the cross border movements of insurgents, gun runners and drug peddlers along the international border with Myanmar will not be prevented by a 10 km fence as the issues and vulnerability of the Indo-Myanmar border stems from a number of factors. The imaginary boundary line was never accepted by the Naga communities living between the borders as the land they are residing now has been inherited from their forefathers. Erecting a border fence would only prove to stir more problems, protests from the ethnic communities due to its historical linkages, and factors. With no proper inspection of the borderline, the Nagas residing between the borders will face challenges and inconveniences, making the issue more sensitive than it is now. Besides forced to live as citizens in different countries, 43 villages, about 3000 households and around 20,000 villagers of the Naga, Mizo, Manipuri and Arunachali tribes living between the borders will be affected by the border fencing work undertaken by the Centre. (With inputs from IANS and the northeast today)

Weaving threads into art of heritage Quit notice to Minister evokes sharp response Ketholeno Neihu

Dimapur | January 10

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Weaving is a tradition common to Naga society, and women share an exclusive monopoly in this art, with techniques being passed on through generations. However, this art is starting to wither away in many places. Despite attracting a lot of admiration and a huge market, the art of weaving and spinning has become the art of the few. In Kigwema, a southern village of the Angami tribe, young females at work provide the picture of weaving as it was decades ago. Most of the young women including educated unemployed(s) master the art, skill and technique of weaving shawls and wrappers known in Angami dialect as Lohe, Phemhou etc. These garments are worn during all occasions and church events and come in variant colours and apparels; and sometimes they makes up the whole of an outfit. Although not regular weavers, the women here, on days off from the working in the fields, sit on their looms for long hours weaving the horizontally stretched wool to and fro. The end product is made for the family members or is sold to local customers in the market. It is also a tradition and a form of prestige for every woman in the village to gift hand-spun woven shawls or wrappers during special occasions such as wedding to close friends and relatives. The process of weaving is primitive and done through a step by step process, which is slow and tedious. A complete woven shawl or wrapper consumes four to six days. The wool is first washed with a white substance which they generally call ‘sabudana’. The dried wool is then spun into balls, after which the thread wool is carefully pulled and arranged longitudinally with wood supports standing in a lateral position, which also frames the structure of the cloth. The weaver pulls in a belt attached to the end of the loom with the feet placed on a firm support. The horizontal threads are then interlocked with the use of pick-up sticks made from fine bamboo and wood. One such unique stick is the ‘dziike’ also called a beating stick which is straight on one side and has a convex rectilinear shape on the other. Two pieces are usually woven separately, cut and stitched together. In the borderline, a pattern of about two inch is embroidered with silk threads which are usually shiny and contrast the co-

DIMAPUR, JANUARY 10 of the Government. “The Minister in vincing response” as to why it served (MExN): The Nagaland State Cabi- charge of Mokokchung District was a quit notice to the Minister, who is a net, along with the Ao legislators of also discharging his duty in his of- citizen of the village. A press note from the Riongthe present Nagaland Legislative As- ficial capacity and not acting in his sanger Putu Tatar Salang, Chuchuysembly, the Riongsanger Putu Tatar personal interest,” it said. “While the relationship between imlang Village stated that all citizens Salang (Village Council), Chuchuyimlang, and the NPF Mokokchung the Legislators and the Civil Society of Chuchuyimlang Village “in no ununit have asked the Ao Senden recon- Organisations like the Ao Senden has certain terms reject and condemn sider and rethink its decision to serve always been cordial and good where the ultimatum issued by Ao Senden to our bona-fide citizen, Nuka quit notice to the Nagaland Minister for Highways, Nuk- • State Cabinet says resolution does lutoshi.” It demanded that the Ao Senden issue a response lutoshi. not behove an Apex tribal org within three-days from the The Nagaland State Cabinet, through a press note from • Ao legislators ask Ao Senden to re- issue of this letter. Till then, it informed that no citizen of the Chief Minsiter’s Office Lathink and reconsider decision Chuchuyimlang Village will mented that the contents of the resolution do not “behove • Chuchuyimlang Village resolves participate in any activity of an apex tribal organization.” It to ‘disassociate from Ao Senden’ Ao Senden; the Minister will A young woman weaves traditional apparel by method of the traditional pro- pointed out that a Minister is a not leave Ao territory and cess of weaving. duly elected Member of the Legisla- discussions and dialogues has always cautioned that if any untoward incitive Assembly by the electorate and been the norm in resolving any issues dent takes place involving the Minishas taken oath under the Constitu- in the past, the Ao Legislators fail to ter, the entire responsibility will rest understand as to why in the present with Ao Senden. tion of India. The Mokokchung Unit of the A joint statement issued by Ao case the Ao Senden has taken such a legislators C Apok Jamir, Imtikum- hasty and harsh decision upon one Naga Peoples’ Front (NPF) also dezuk, S Chuba Longkumer, Dr Ben- of its bonafide member over an issue nounced the quit notice served to the jongliba, Dr Longri, Merentoshi R that pertains not only to one single Minister and appealed to the Ao SenJamir, Dr Imtiwapang and Amenba community but to the entire people den to revoke the same at the earliest. “As all government employees are Yaden, expressed shock that the Ao of Nagaland,” it stated. Meanwhile, a joint meeting held duty bound to serve and follow the Senden resorted to using “unparliamentary words like so called Minister with the participation of Chuchuy- instructions of the government, the which demeans the status and office imlang Senso Mongdang (Citizens Minister who is in charge of MokokAssembly) and the Riongsanger Putu chung district is duty bound,” it statof a Minister.” The statement pointed out that it Tatar Salang (Village Council), Chu- ed. The NPF Mokokchung also said was not the decision of an individu- chuyimlang resolved that “Chuchuy- it finds no justification in singling out al Minister to conduct the elections imlang Village and its citizens will re- the Minister “when all government to the Urban Local Bodies in Naga- main disassociated from Ao Senden” machineries are operative to conduct land, but was the collective decision till the Ao Senden conveys a “con- the ULB elections.” The wool used by weavers, whose finished products are in high demand.

lour of the shawl or wrapper. This is done to add more detail and beauty. “I would excitingly weave small bags spun by my mother on holidays,” said Akhono, recollecting her yonder days of practicing weaving during childhood. “Weaving was taught by my mother and my other sisters and neighbors also do weaving for themselves. We all want to compete with our weaving skills and it has become a way of our life,” she added. The type of labour exerted in this art however has certain health implications. Eyesight is affected and backaches aren’t uncommon among the weavers. Dokheno, a graduate who was weaving a wrapper for an upcoming programme shared that it was her first time weaving a one ply (Thailand) wrapper. “The pattern at the border are very delicate, bending forward and constantly concentrating at the colored thread gives one a dizzy feeling,” she said. In Kigwema village, three wool

shops are located in the highway along the village. While the shops supply the wool and other necessary items for weaving, it also takes the finished products at wholesale rates from the villagers. The proprietor of one, Kekhrie Wool House, the oldest operating wool shop in the village informed that more than 50 women purchase wool items from their shop and also sell their finished products to them. The shawls and wrappers; scarf and coats have prices ranging from Rs 2000 to 10000, depending on their design and quality of wool. The village also has many of the men engaged in carpentry. This in turn prevents the women from running out of weaving. The tradition of weaving remains strong here, with the people holding on to their culture and as it also provides them with an avenue for sustenance. The writer is currently an intern at The Morung Express.

Search for happiness in life, Prez advices students NEw DElhI, JANUARY 10 (IANS): President Pranab Mukherjee, in his New Year’s message to students on Tuesday, called happiness fundamental to human experience of life happy and presented them with a ‘toolbox’ to use to achive this. In his message, titled “Building a happy society”, to students of higher learning and faculty members, which was conveyed via livecast, hee called upon the youth to enhance happiness by learning to wear a smile always, laughing at life, and connecting with nature and getting involved with the community. “The incidents of against women, road rage, substance abuse, and sui-

cides are all manifestations of unhappiness,” he said, and urged students to practice yoga and meditation to overcome these feelings. Recounted the journey of India in numbers from a poverty-stricken nation 70 years back to present times when it is reckoned amongst the swiftest advancing economies, At the end of his address, Mukherjee exhorted students to think through their problems and devise their solutions. “Remember that our happiness is not divisible. If we care for ‘others’, then we also share our knowledge and other resources with them. Happiness then becomes an inevitable derivative of a humane pursuit,” he said.

January 11th, 2017  

The Morung Express Dimapur, Nagaland, India

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