PREPAK greets on International Day of Indigenous Peoples
Source: The Sangai Express
Imphal, August 08, 2012:
Greeting the people on the occasion of International Day of World's Indigenous Peoples 2012, the proscribed People's Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak (PREPAK) has called on the people to face the threats that confront the indigenous people in preserving, protecting and upholding their rights.
A statement issued by the assistant secretary of publicity and propaganda of PREPAK, Leibak Ngakpa Luwang said there are many communities in the world which have become extinct due to assimilation by larger communities.
Around 5000 communities in 70 countries of the world, numbering around 37 crore, have struggled to protect and preserve their indigenous rights.
The statement said the endeavour of indigenous population that accounts for 5 percent of the world's population in their attempt to preserve the indigenous rights by protecting the cultural heritage deserves due acknowledgement.
Stating that the International Day of World's Indigenous People has been observed on August 9 every year since the first conference of the United Nations Working Group on Indigenous Population was held from August 9-13, 1982 in Geneva, the outfit has also acknowledged the contribution of the indigenous peoples towards the promotion of their respective tradition, language, scripts etc.
Pointing out that the indigenous people are guaranteed the fundamental freedom of the individual and community rights as enshrined in the UDHR and International Human Rights Law under the UN Charter, the PREPAK statement further said that the indigenous peoples have also the right to self determination in order to guard themselves against dominance and assimilation by larger and dominant communities.
Asserting that the indigenous people are entitled to determine their political, economic and cultural status, and they are also entitled right to live, liberty and right to security, the statement cautioned all concerned to be cautious against any genocide attempt.
It added that there are several other rights entitled to the indigenous people to preserve, promote and develop the indigenous people under the UN Charters.
Stating that the people of Kangleipak are now in a situation when the proverbial field owners being chased, the statement noted that unregulated migration of outsiders is draining away the economy of Kangleipak.
As per census of 2011, the migrant population has exceeded the indigenous tribal population by over 7 lakh, the outfit said the migrants have become a majority in some places of the State like Jiribam.
The alarming trend not only shows the violation of indigenous people's rights, but it also indicates that the indigenous people of the State are in the verge of extinction.
At the same time, some indigenous communities/groups have become extinct due to the influence of foreign religion.
On the pretext of lure-proselytisation, indigenous Meiteis have started the process of Hinduisation.
The wave of globalisation has become another threat to the indigenous people.
Especially, women, who are responsible for the protection and change of culture, have been influenced greatly by the globalisation wave, it stated.
On the occasion of the International Day of World's Indigenous Peoples 2012, the outfit urged all concerned to fight for and uphold the indigenous peoples' rights while also appealing all concerned to participate in the process of restoration of the dying indigenous culture, tradition, education, economy and society.