Monday December 17, 2018
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Manipuri people on the verge of losing their identity

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New Delhi: The ever growing fear of losing one’s own distinct identity has plagued the people residing in the bordering areas of Myanmar and Bangladesh and in the north-eastern states including  Assam and Tripura.

Notably, Manipuris have their own script and they are the only mountain tribes who extensively follow the ‘Vaishnavite’ branch of Hindu religion.

Community leader K Sunder Gopal Sharma told reporters, “today, Manipuris in Myanmar hardly number 10,000 as against over one lakh decades ago. Thousands of Manipuris, including devout Vaishnavas, have since converted to Buddhism”. He said military rulers in Myanmar did not encourage the community members to study their own language in schools or converse in it at social gatherings.  Gopal said he feared that if nothing is done, the Manipuris in Myanmar will soon see their distinct cultural identity lose out to the native population there.

He said military rulers in Myanmar did not encourage the community members to study their own language in schools or converse in it at social gatherings.

Sharma feared that if no prompt move is taken then the Manipuris in Myanmar will soon lose their distinct cultural identity to the native population there.

The Manipuri villages in Assam and Tripura have seen a huge reduction of the population since Independence.

While over one lakh people dwelled in the area in 1947, only 10,000 people remained in the villages at present. Khaidem Kanta, vice president of Manei, an organisation of the Manipuri diaspora in Barak Valley in Assam, said, the Manipuris in the state are facing cultural and linguistic challenges.

“The younger generation of Manipuris getting schooled in Assam cannot speak fluently or write their mother-tongue. There is job reservation for people of Manipuri origin, but most educated youths do not get through in the absence of an elected leader to champion their cause.”

However, the situation is quite different in Bangladesh as Manipuri people remain connected to their roots. They are still able to maintain their custom and rituals and their cultural heritage remains preserved due to the connection with their natives in India.(Inputs IANS)

 

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U.S.A: Myanmar’s Military Campaign Against Rohingya Muslims a ‘Mass Genocide’

Lawyers for the reporters said their clients were set up and have appealed their sentences and convictions.

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Rohingya
Rohingya Muslims, who crossed over from Myanmar into Bangladesh, wade past a waterlogged path leading to the Jamtoli refugee camp in Ukhiya, Bangladesh. VOA

The U.S. House of Representatives approved a resolution by a vote of 394-1 Thursday, declaring Myanmar’s military campaign against the country’s Rohingya Muslim minority a genocide.

A United Nations report released in August said the military carried out mass killings and gang rapes with “genocidal intent” and also definitively called for Myanmar officials to face genocide charges for the first time.

Rohingya Growing

Myanmar’s military has denied previous accusations it had committed genocide, maintaining its actions were part of an anti-terrorism campaign.

Rohingya, Violence
Rohingya refugees carry a hume pipe in Balukhali refugee camp near Cox’s Bazar, in Bangladesh. VOA

The atrocities have prompted the U.N. and a number of political and human rights leaders to question the southeast Asian country’s progress toward democracy.

The Burma Task Force, a coalition of U.S. and Canadian Muslim organizations, applauded the genocide designation.

“The House of Representatives has now officially adopted the position that the ongoing policies of mass violence and displacement against the Rohingya by the Myanmar government constitute genocide, bringing the U.S. closer to the emerging international consensus on the issue.

The U.S. State Department usually makes such official designations but has not used the term genocide to describe the military’s atrocities against the Rohingya.

Rohingya, myanmar, violence,asylum
Rohingya refugee children shout slogans during a protest against the repatriation process at Unchiprang refugee camp near Cox’s Bazar, in Bangladesh. VOA

The House resolution also called on the Myanmar government to release Reuters journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, who were jailed one year ago.

Also Read: Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey Under Fire For Myanmar Tweets

They were sentenced in September to seven years in prison for violating the country’s colonial-era Secrets Act. Lawyers for the reporters said their clients were set up and have appealed their sentences and convictions.

The Myanmar embassy in Washington did not immediately comment on the House vote. (VOA)