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Moreh satyagraha

Fernandes' human-wall effort today

Imphal Free Press, October 2, 1997

Imphal, Oct.: Satyagrahis from Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh,
Orissa, UP and Delhi have arrived in Imphal to take part in the Moreh
satyagraha which will be launched from tomorrow, a statement issued by
Samata Party leader George Fernandes said.

He said the participants left for Moreh, and added that more than 100
people from outside the northeast will be taking part on the first day.

The Democratic Forces of Burma, Indo-Burma Border has welcomed the Moreh
satyagraha which begin from tomorrow against entering drugs and HIV in

The Moreh satyagraha is being organised by the Samata Party.

In a statement the Democratic Forces of Burma thanked Samata Party
leader George Fernandes and all those who will be taking part in the

The release said entering of drugs and HIV to India from Burma is the
outcome of the border trade between India and Burma. It also said the
Indo-Burma border trade lacks system and both sides are implementing it
for the sake of it.

Stating that the border trade is particularly fruitless to the grass
root level of both the countries, the release said authorities of both
the countries are paying little attention to drug control measures at
the border area.

The release further said border trade between two countries having
different political systems cannot be stable. It will be very difficult
to achieve unconditional understanding and cooperation between
democratic government of India and the military government of Burma.

It accused the SLORC of involving in drug trafficking directly or

The release said that although India wants to control drug and AIDS it
will not be successful due to non-cooperative policy of Burma's military
government. "India will face the problem until and unless the military
dictatorship ends."

While appealing to India pressurise the military government of Burma to
restore democracy the Democratic Forces of Burma also called on its
people to join hands with India in its fight against drugs.

Meanwhile the Meetei Council, Moreh has said it will oppose the move by
Samata Party to close down free trade between India and Burma at Moreh.
It appealed to the Samata Party to withdraw its call for closure of the
border trade. It warned that a bandh will be observed at Moreh if the
call is not withdrawn.

Moreh satyagraha peaceful
By a Staff Reporter
October 4, 1997

Imphal Oct 3: The Samata Party-led Moreh satyagraha continued without
incident today after the organisers and the Meetei Council, Moreh
reached an understanding on the issue yesterday.

The agreement followed the intervention of the Manipur Cultural
Integration Council, and AMSU (All Manipur Students' Unions) president,
W Ratankumar.

Earlier yesterday, following the inauguration of the satyagraha at the
Moreh playground, police stopped the procession of satyagrahis from
proceeding towards the border gates no. 1 and 2 sue to objections from
Meetei Council, Moreh.

The satyagraha was observed before the Moreh police station after an
understanding was reached between the two sides in the afternoon.
Leaders of the Meetei Council also took part in the styagraha later,
according to a statement issued by Jaya Jaitly, general secretary of the
Samata Party.

Prominent participants included O Joy Singh, president, MPP (Manipur
People Party), B.B Acharya, W. Ratan, R.K Ranjan and Dr. Kailash
Agarwal. A number of leaders from outside the state, including Anand
Mohan (MP) and Ms. Lovely Anand, MLA also took part.

According to Jaitly's statement, around 2,000 local people took part in
today's satyagraha.

Meanwhile, George Fernandes, president of the Samata Party, O. Joy
Singh, and Prof. Gangmumei Kabui, have issued a joint statement
clarifying that the satyagraha was against the free movement of drugs
and not against free trade.

The satyagraha is an effort to 'draw attention of the people and the
government of India to the havoc caused by drugs and AIDS, particularly
in Manipur and the Northeast', the joint statement said.

The statement demand immediate steps from the govt. to stop smuggling
into India from Burma, and stern action against those engaged in
drug-trafficking, and those who have failed in their duty to apprehend

Trouble dogs Moreh satyagraha
By A staff Reporter
Imphal Free Press, October 5, 1997.

Imphal Oct 4 : The Moreh Council, Moreh has withdrawn its support to the
Samata Party-led satyagraha currently underway at Moreh.

The Council has taken this step in protest against alleged violation by
the organisers of the consensus arrived at with its representatives on
October 2, Y. Thoungamba, president of the MCM stated in a communication
to George Fernandes today. The MCM would also observe a silent protest
against the Satyagraha, the communication added.

A separate release said the satyagraha had violated their agreement by
making provocative statements against the Myanmarese government.

The former minister and Kuki Inpi president Holkhomang Haokip criticised
Samata Party for holding the border trade responsible for drug

Describing the Moreh satyagraha a Samata Party gimmick, Holkhomang said
in a release that drug smuggling from Golden Triangle had been going on
for the last many decades along the porous Indo-Myanmar border through a
dozen points.

The involvement of security forces in drug trafficking as claimed is a
very bad reflection on the state and Central governments, he said.

Stating that legalisation of free trade has fulfilled a long cherished
desire of the people of Manipur and Moreh, the release said some
developments have taken place at Moreh because of this.

Fight drug smuggling and its menace by all means but do not do it at the
cost of livelihood do the Moreh and the surrounding areas, Holkhomang

Stressing the need open the border trade at Bihiang in Churachanpur,
Kongkan Thana in Ukhrul district, New Somtal and Kholmumlen in Chandel
district, the release stated that Mizoram, Nagaland and Arunachal
Pradesh are in the process of opening trade centres.

"We have to look to South East Asian countries for trade and commerce,"
he added.

Moreh satyagraha ends with call to fight drugs
By A Staff Reporter

Imphal Free Press, October 6, 1997

Imphal, Oct 5 : The three day Moreh satyagraha launched by the Samata
Party was concluded yesterday with a pledge to mount a united fight
against drug trafficking.

The satyagraha which was headed by the Samata Party president George
Fernandes kicked off October 2 on a stormy note with the Meitei Council
of Moreh putting up a stiff opposition.

In a statement here George Fernandes said the misunderstanding was
sorted out later and members of all communities joined the agitation
which was launched to highlight the problem of drug trafficking along
the Indo-Myanmar border.

The participants also pledge to spread the message against drugs from
Moreh to the rest of the country and to work for the development of
Moreh and the rest of the state.

On the concluding day a declaration was made saying that the satyagraha
had been observed against the "free movement of drugs from Burma to
India and not the free trade between the two countries. Free trade does
not mean free smuggling of drugs."

"The human wall satyagraha at Moreh is an effort by the concerned
persons to draw the attention of the people and the government of India
to the havoc caused by the drugs and AIDS, particularly in Manipur and
the Northeast," it clarified.

The declaration urged the government to take concrete and immediate
steps to stop drug smuggling into India from Burma and also to deal with
the problem of drug addiction and AIDS. It also demanded stern action
against drug traffickers.

It accused the military junta in Burma of using drug money in procuring
weapons and suppressing the movement for democracy in Burma. "We believe
that a democratic Burma is the best insurance against drug smuggling
from across the border," the declaration said.

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