AIZAWL, Nov 12 – The Mizoram Presbyterian Church has rejected a proposal to ordain women in the church as pastors or church elders.
Synod Executive Committee (SEC), the highest decision making body of Mizoram Presbyterian Church, decided this after the issue of ordination of women was raised during the Presbytery, the second highest conference of the church recently, church sources said.
Ordination of women as pastors and church elders have become one of the major issues facing the churches in Mizoram, especially the Presbyterian and the Baptist, the two largest and most powerful churches in the State which is predominantly Christian.
The SEC’s decision was taken at a meeting here on Thursday.
About 40 years ago, Saptawni, a woman, was elected as church elder by the congregation of the Presbyterian Church’s Mission Veng unit in Aizawl, but she was not ordained after the Synod refused to do so.
R L Hnuni, principal of the Baptist Church-run Aizawl Integrated Christian Studies, was also not ordained as a pastor by the assembly of the Baptist Church of Mizoram (BCM) in January this year.
Hnuni was earlier recommended by the pastoral committee of the Baptist Church of Mizoram to be ordained as a pastor.
Women’s committees inside the churches have
been demanding gender equality inside the churches so that they could also become pastors and church elders. – PTI
Source: Assam Tribune
Aizawl, November 8: Mizoram People Forum (MPF) has asked Mizos not to lend their trade license to non-locals. In an appeal distributed to the people in the form of leaflets the MPF said, lending names and trade license to non-locals will soon lead to economic assimilations of indigenous people. The MPF also said, the Inner Line Permit system enacted and enforced way back in 1930 by the British raj for protection of vulnerable tribals of the hills of the Northeast region continues to be an effective safeguard for the minority tribals and no one should try to violate or dilute the regulation. ”By lending our names to non-tribals, we are draining our economy for the benefits of outsiders,” said the organisation.
There are over 260 Mizos who earn money just by lending their names to non-tribals so that the latter get trade license. There are also a number of non-tribals who married Mizo girls in order to run business in Mizoram in the names of their wives. In this process, the state government has also lost a huge revenue as the non-tribal traders have evaded income tax by trading under the guise of Mizo tribals who are exempted from the income tax, the Mizoram People Forum said.
This illegal practice, the MPF feared, posed threats to the social and economic security of the indigenous people of Mizoram who are specially protected from the threats of assimilation since the British time.
Bhupen Hazarika to be cremated today: The government of Assam has rescheduled Bhupen Hazarika’s funeral on Wednesday in view of thousands of people queuing up to pay their last respect to the iconic minstrel. Fans from across India and Bangladesh have descended for a last glimpse at Judges’ Field in Guwahati, where his glass-encased body has been kept for public viewing.
“The cremation was to have been today (Tuesday). Bowing to the people’s demand, we have decided to defer it till Wednesday morning (7 am),” said chief minister Tarun Gogoi after meeting Hazarika’s son Tez Bhupen at their residence at Nizarapar here. Tez arrived with his wife from New York for the last rites.
Among those who converged at Judges’ Field was an 80-member team from Bangladesh, film actors and singers from Assam, West Bengal and Mumbai. While Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi were represented by DoNER minister Pawan Singh Ghatowar, the BJP leadership was represented by senior leader Sushma Swaraj.
Aizawl, November 3: The Mizoram chief minister Lal Thanhawla has called for emotional integration despite wide diversity. He also asked the children of the country to contact one another and have good interaction through the internet—Email and Facebook besides telecommunication.
The Mizoram chief minister was saying this while delivering a speech during the inaugural programme of National Learn to Live Together Camp, 2011 at the Tribal Art Centre in Aizawl. The National Learn to Live Together Camp has been jointly organised by Indian Council for Child Welfare and Mizoram State Council for Child Welfare Board.
Addressing the gathering of youths from various States of the country, Lal Thanhawla wished the participants a happy stay while they are in Mizoram and carry back the sweet memories of the State and the people when they return homes. Mizoram Social Welfare Minister, PC Lalthanliana also asked the children to interact freely with children of other States. He also asked them to communicate him if they have problem. President of Indian Council for Child Welfare Gita Siddhartha said, the Indian Council for Child Welfare was formed in 1952 to foster unity and integration among the children of the country.
Altogether 116 children from 18 States including 42 leaders are participating in the National Learn to Live Together Camp which will be concluded on November 6. The inaugural function was presided over by the Vice President of Mizoram State Council for Child Welfare Mr. Thanseia.
Festival controversy: Various social organizations and political parties in Meghalaya today vowed to protest against the Government’s sponsored Shillong Autumn Festival organised by Meghalaya Tourism Development Forum (MTDF), which would culminate on a day considered sacred by the Christians, the Sunday of November 6.
Federation of Khasi Jaintia and Garo People (FKJGP), Khun Hynniewtrep Awakening Movement (KHNAM), Ri Bhoi Youth Federation (RBTF) and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) of Meghalaya which met at Khasi National Dorbar Hall at Mawkhar in Shillong said that they were deeply hurt by the remarks passed by MTDF members terming the church leaders who had protested the holding of the Shillong Autumn Festival as “anti-secularism”, ‘fanatics’ and “Talibans”
Speaking to the media after the meeting, working president of FKJGP, Joe Marwein said the various churches and the NGOs and political parties like the NCP and KHNAM would like to see that the Sun sets apart with due respect and reverence and mega-festival like the Shillong Autumn Festival should not be held on a Sunday.
“We used to call for various agitation programmes and bandhs against the State Government on various issues, but not on Sundays. We have exempted our agitational programmes on the Sundays because we want respect that day and the sentiments of the Christians”, Marwein said. He also said that recently the militant group of Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) announced a bandh on a Sunday and withdrew it following an appeal made by the church leaders. Marwein also said the social organizations would write to the State Government to register their protest against holding the Shillong Autumn Festival on a Sunday.
Earlier, the NCP was the first to protest against holding the festival on a Sunday followed by North East India Christian Council, as the Christian population would be fully engaged in worship services and also to observe the World Sunday School.
Meghalaya Tourism Development Forum (MTDF) is determined to hold the festival even on a Sunday to project the rich and colourful cultures of the North Eastern Region at the Shillong Autumn Festival–2011 and grand finale of the festival would be held at the scenic Orchid Lake Resort near against the backdrops of Umiam Lake surrounded by hills and blue sky. The organizers termed the culmination of the festival as a “Family Get-together” held on a Sunday, as a large chunk of the population which does not have weekly off like Government employees could also get the opportunity to participate in the festival.
The festival includes Adventure Sport, Fashion show and music to enable the visitors what they have never see before the Acro Flights by Ace Paraglider pilots from France.
Newmai News Network
Aizawl, Nov 3 (IANS): The Planning Commission on Wednesday lauded the Mizoram government’s flagship programme – New Land Use Policy (NLUP) which aims to support 120,000 farming families over five years.
“NLUP would be a model for other States in India to take up alternative farming instead of age-old ‘Jhum’ cultivation (slash and burn method of farming),” Planning Commission Member Secretary Suddha Pillai said here.
Tribals in the hilly terrains of Mizoram and other northeastern States have for generations carried out “jhum”, which has resulted in degradation of forest land and deterioration of soil. About 80 percent of farmers in Mizoram still depend on “jhum” cultivation, which involves clearing forests and burning the slashed trees, weeds and bamboos.
Pillai, on a two-day visit to Mizoram, said: “The NLUP, which was launched in January, has the potential to improve Mizoram economy dramatically.”
The NLUP aims to restore ecological balance by providing the farmers alternative sustainable and permanent land-based means of livelihood. It also aims to create 21,480 hectares of bamboo plantation to benefit 10,740 families.
Despite the slash-and-burn system of cultivation, Mizoram has a large forest cover area of 75.77 percent of the total land.
According to an official report, the NLUP intends to keep 60 percent of the state’s total geographical area under forest cover and the rest for land-based development.
Source: Assam Tribune
AIZAWL, Oct 31 – Sudha Pillai, member secretary of the Planning Commission, arrived here today on a two-day maiden visit to the State which has been facing a serious financial crunch.
Pillai would meet beneficiaries of the New Land Use Policy (NLUP), the flagship programme of the State Government during her visit to nearby Sihphir village tomorrow.
Her visit came after the State Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla’s meeting with Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee where Mizoram Government asked additional fund under plan and non-plan sectors to tide over the current fiscal problems arising out of payment of enhanced salaries to the employees in accordance with the recommendations of the Sixth Central Pay Commission.
Lal Thanhawla also met Sonia Gandhi and sought her help for the fund-strapped State. – PTI
Source: Assam Tribune
AIZAWL, Oct 24 (IANS): In a reciprocal gesture, Myanmar has decided to allow Indians living in border areas of four northeastern states to travel upto 16 km inside its territory without a passport or visa, a Mizoram government official said Monday.
“The reciprocal arrangements for the visit of both Indians and Mynmarese were discussed in detail at a deputy commissioner-level meeting held at Falam in Myanmar’s Chin state last week,” a Mizoram home department official here told IANS.
India had already made a similar announcement earlier this year, allowing unrestricted entry of Myanmarese up to 16 km territory inside Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh.
“Besides residents of Mizoram, inhabitants of Manipur, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh would be allowed to visit the other side of the Myanmar border,” the official said.
Citizens of both countries can stay on the other side of the border for a maximum period of one week.
Mizoram’s Champhai district Deputy Commissioner Vijaya Kumar Bidhuri led the Indian delegation at the meeting held Saturday.
Official of both countries have also agreed to work together in curbing trafficking of rare orchids, animal organs and skins, drugs and sandalwood.
The tribal-dominated population on both sides of the border share common lifestyles and traditions.
Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram share a 1,640 km-long border with Myanmar, manned by the Assam Rifles on the Indian side. The dense forests make the border porous and vulnerable.
AIZAWL, March 28 – The Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC) will soon make its present felt in Mizoram when at least one course of study commences in July – August this year.
This was stated by Sunil Tandon, Director General of IIMC, New Delhi when he called on Mizoram Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla at his bungalow in Aizawl a couple of days back.
Sunil Tandon at the outset, applauded the Mizoram chief minister for his initiative in setting up IIMC Campus in Aizawl and extended happiness for his cordial cooperation at all levels with the Institute. Tandon apprised Lal Thahawla that the campus would require at least 10 acres of land for the setting up of the Institute in Aizawl adding that he had identified a suitable plot of land for the purpose. Tandon also stated that Aizawl will be one of the eigth All India Entrance Test Centres across the country, which he said, will be conducting the test on May 24 this year.
Lal Thanhawla on his part informed him that the Mizoram government steps up all out effort in hastening the establishment of the Institute in Aizawl.
To ensure the speedy setting up of the institute and accelerate the pace of progress, New Delhi has appointed L.R.Sailo, a retired I&PR Director who is currently the Press Secretary to Chief Minister as “Special Officer’ to undertake all essential for the purpose.
It may be recalled that it was Ambika Soni, Union Minister for Information & Broadcasting who had given a nod to go ahead with the institute at the request of Lal Thanhawla.
AIZAWL, Dec 23 (IANS): Over 4,000 Chakma tribal people in Mizoram have been starving for the past few weeks, a non-governmental organisation said Thursday.
“Over 800 Chakma tribal families comprising over 4,000 men, women and children in four villages in Chakma Autonomous District Council (CADC) areas of southern Mizoram have been starving for several weeks,” New Delhi based Mizoram Chakma Development Forum (MCDF) said in a letter to the Mizoram government.
MCDF president Hemanta Larma said: “No food grain under the Public Distribution System (PDS) have been supplied to the AAY (Antyodaya Anna Yojana) and BPL (Below Poverty Line) card holders since October.”
“People belonging to APL (Above Poverty Line) have got their quota of rice and other materials till Nov 26, making clear that the richer have been given more importance than the poor and poorest families,” the petition said.
It was submitted to Mizoram Chief Secretary Pu Van Hela Pachuau and deputy commissioner of Lawngtlai district.
The letter added that the failure of the state government to ensure food security and non-supply of food grain under PDS were direct violations of the Supreme Court orders on the Right to Food case and Article 21 of the Indian constitution.
Mizoram government officials have also admitted about the severe food crisis in Lawngtlai and other districts.
Mizoram Chief Secretary also held a meeting with Union Cabinet Secretary K.M. Chandrasekhar earlier this month in New Delhi demanding urgent supply of food grain.
The central government has been supplying food grain, cooking gas, fertilisers and other essentials to northeastern states.
Inadequate railway service to the mountainous region is the main bottleneck in maintaining uninterrupted supply of food grain and other essentials.
A senior Mizoram government official told reporters that six out of the state’s eight districts are facing a severe shortage of food grain and other essentials.
“The Mizoram chief secretary, during his meeting with the union cabinet secretary, has suggested six proposals, including building of adequate numbers of godowns, to overcome the recurring problem,” he said.
Occasional road blockades by local organisations and disruption of railway services due to heavy rains during monsoon have also contributed to such shortages in Meghalaya, Manipur, Tripura, Mizoram, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh and southern and western Assam.
Source: The Assam Tribune
AIZAWL, Nov 15 – Negotiations between Mizoram Government and Manipur-based Hmar People’s Convention –Democrats (HPC-D) would continue after the executive council of the outfit prepared its demands to solve the problems of the community, a senior Home Department official said here.
HPC-D, breakaway group of HPC, has been demanding a separate Hmar territorial council comprising the north eastern part of Mizoram adjoining Manipur.
The meeting, which was participated by Mizoram Home Secretary Lalmalsawma and a five-member HPC-D delegation led by its ‘army chief’ Roupia, was held here on Saturday. The talks were held in a cordial atmosphere and mutual understanding, an official said adding the outfit’s delegation left Aizawl yesterday to hold further talks with its top leadership.
The HPC-D delegation would soon get in touch with the government to fix the date for holding talks, he said. HPC has signed an agreement with the State Government to end six years of Hmar insurgency.
Official sources said the State Government and HPC-D agreed that operations by the State police and the Central forces against the outfit would not be launched for the next six months. – PTI
Source: The Assam Tribune
AIZAWL, Nov 13 – Peace talks between the Mizoram government and the Hmar Peoples Convention-Democratic (HPC-D) were held at Mizoram State Guest House here on Thursday.
At the talks, a ceasefire agreement was signed by both the parties and ground rules were also prepared by the Mizoram government and the HPC-D agreed to abide by them. The ceasefire will remain in force till the next round of talks to be held in the near future.
As per the ground rules, both sides agreed not to undertake any offensive action against each other, said a government official on Friday.
The government side was headed by Lalmalsawma, Home Commissioner who was assisted by C. Thanchhuma, Aizawl Deputy Commissioner, PC Lalchhuanawma, Assistant Director General of Police, C. Laldina, SP CID and Lalhriatpuia, Under Secretary Home. Five representatives from the HPC(D) who participated in the talks were the army chief Lalropui Hmar, political affairs secretary Lalbeise Hmar, information and pulic relations secretary David Hmar, defence secretary Robert Hmar and public relation officer Lalthanglien.
Sources said the talks were still in the initial stage and the discussion covered only the modalities for resumption of peace talks.
Home department officials said after the talks that the HPC(D)’s demands and conditions would be submitted to Chief Minister Lalthanhawla and Home Minister R Lalzirliana for arriving at a decision on their surrender.
The HPC(D)’s main demand is a separate Hmar area, comprising the Hmar-inhabited areas of Mizoram, Manipur and Assam’s Cachar and Dima Hasao districts, to be administered through their proposed autonomous district council. Mizoram, a hub of the Hmars, is a stronghold of the rebel group.
Source: The Assam Tribune