Sunday, 27 November 2011

Malaria kills 10 children in Arunachal village

Dimapur, November 26 (MExN): Thirteen children have died of malaria at M-Pen village in Miao subdivision of Changlang district, Arunachal Pradesh since October 2011. All the children belonging to Chakma minority were below the age of 12. A 2 year old child, son of Santosh Kumar, is the latest victim of the vector-borne disease. The child died on November 18. 6 years old Najuk Chakma, son of Judhistir Chakma, was the first victim, who died at Miao Civil Hospital on October 7. The total population of the village is over 1000 persons. The residents claimed that many more children are suffering from the illness. There is no health centre in the village. The villagers have to cover a distance of at least 7-8 kms by foot to reach the sub-divisional hospital in Miao.

This news report is published in the "Morung Express", an English daily of Nagaland in the "Front Brief Section" on 27 November 2011.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Arunachal Pradesh: Portfolios of new inducted Ministers

By Tejang Chakma

On 23 November 2011, Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Nabam Tuki distributed the portfolios in his 12-Member Council of Ministers and Parliamentary Secretaries. The Parliamentary Secretaries were appointed on 22 November.

The Chief Minister kept with him the Home Department, Information and Public Relations and Hydropower besides other departments not allocated to others.

List of Cabinet Ministers with portfolios

Sl. No
Name of Ministers
Departments assigned
Chowna Mein
Finance, Planning & Public Works Department
Tanga Byaling
Power (Electrical) & Rural Development
Setong Sena
Agriculture, Horticulture, Animal Husbandry & Dairy Development
Bosiram Siram
Education, Library, Science & Technology and Parliamentary Affairs
Rajesh Tacho
Urban Development, Housing, Town Planning and Fisheries
Newlai Tingkhatra
Water Resources Development, Social Welfare, Women & Child Development
Atum Welly
Health and Family Welfare, Economics and Statiatics, Legal Metrology and Consumer Affairs
Kamlung Mossang
Geology and Mining, Art & Culture and Food & Civil Supplies
Tapang Taloh
Industries, Textile, Handloom and Handicrafts
Pema Khandu
Rural Works Department & Tourism
Jarkar Gamlin
Transport, State Transport Services & Co-operation

List of Parliamentary Secretaries with portfolios

Sl No
C C Singpho
Finance and Information Technology
C T Mein
Environment and Forests
T Norbu Thongdok
Public Works Department
Honchun Ngandam
T Taiju
Water Resources Development
Padi Richo
Urban Development, Housing, Town Planning & Land Management
J K Panggeng
Science & Technology, Law, Legislative and Judicial
Kumar Waii
Rural Works Department & Deptt of Supply and Transport
Nido Pavitra
Health and Family Welfare, Food and Civil Supplies
Phosum Khimhun
Trade and Commerce
Karikho Kri
Public Health Engineering
Gadam Ete
Home, Geology & Mining
R T Khunjuju
Gojen Gadi
Power (Electrical)
Tsewang Dhondup
Art and Culture
Lokam Tassar
Tax and Excise
Likha Saaya
Jambey Tashi
Civil Aviation
Yumsem Matey
Deptt of Tirap & Changlang, Social Welfare, Women & Child Development
Punji Mara
Rural Development
Wangki Lowang
Sports & Youth Affairs and Border Affairs
Thangwang Wangham
Information, Public Relations & Printing
Nabam Rebia
Planning & Development

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Arunachal No. 3 in police custody deaths in the northeast: One of the victims is Chakma

By Tejang Chakma

Arunachal Pradesh recorded the third highest number of deaths in police custody with 10 cases among the northeast states of India during 2001-2010. Assam tops the list with 84 deaths followed by Meghalaya with 17.

The statistics were revealed by the Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) in its report, ‘Torture in India 2011’, released on 21 November 2011. The report stated that a total of 14,231 persons, i.e., more than four persons per day, died in police and judicial custody across the country from 2001 to 2010 as per the cases submitted to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC). These included 1,504 deaths in police custody and 12,727 deaths in judicial custody.

The report noted that about 99.99% of deaths in police custody can be ascribed to torture and occur within 48 hours of the victim being taken into custody.

Overall, Arunachal Pradesh recorded 19 deaths, 10 in police custody and 9 in judicial custody. According to the report, the NHRC data does not reflect the actual extent of custodial deaths in India. Many of the cases are not reported to the NHRC. Giving an example, ACHR quoted the custodial death of Jumchi Nguso (35 years) due to alleged torture at the Naharlagun police station in Papumpare district of Arunachal Pradesh on 15 July 2010. ACHR filed the complaint (registered by NHRC as No. 23/2/10/2010-AD) and NHRC closed the case after the State government of Arunachal Pradesh awarded compensation of Rs 5 lakhs. Yet, the NHRC statistics show that there was no custodial death in Arunachal Pradesh during for 2010-2011.

Out of the 10 cases of death in police custody in the state, one of the victims belong to the Chakma community. The victim identified as Bajibo Chakma, son of Gyana Ranjan Chakma of Shanitpur village under Diyun police station in Changlang district, died in the lock-up of Miao police station under Miao Sub-division in the district on 18 April 2008.

Bajibo Chakma, had allegedly eloped with a Chakma girl of Dharmapur-I village under Miao police station in the first week of April 2008. The girl’s family lodged an FIR with the Miao Police station and a case (Miao P.S. case no. 02/08) of kidnapping was registered by the police. The police allegedly asked some villagers from Dharmapur village to find out Bajibo Chakma. On 18 April 2008 at about 10.30 am, the villagers handed him over to Miao police Station. After 4-5 hours in custody, Bajibo Chakma died under mysterious circumstances. 

On 19 April 2008, after the post mortem was conducted, the Sub-Inspector of Maio police station, N.W. Wangham allegedly tried to hand over the dead body to Uttara Kanto Chakma, father-in-law of the victim. When he refused to receive the body, the police allegedly buried the body by hiring labourers.

It was alleged that Bajibo Chakma was tortured in custody, resulting in his death.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Malaria kills 9 children in a Chakma village in Arunachal Pradesh

By Tejang Chakma

Malaria has wreaked havoc in Chakma-inhabited M-Pen village in Changlang district of Arunachal Pradesh. The disease has claimed the lives of at least nine children below the age of 12 in the past 38 days.

6-years-old Najuk Chakma, son of Judhistir Chakma, was the first victim of the killer disease, who died at Miao Civil Hospital on October 7, 2011. The latest victim has been identified as 4-years-old Babu, son of Madhu Chandra Chakma, who died on November 10, 2011.

The rest of the victims, which include four girls, have been identified as Banduri Chakma (4 years), daughter of Arun Kumar Chakma, who died on October 15; Mangal Kumar Chakma (10 years), son of Sukradev Chakma, who died at Miao Civil Hospital on October 18; Hala Meele, daughter of Siddhartha Chakma, who died on October 27; Gynaraj (4 years), son of Kusum Kumar Chakma, who died on October 29; Babu Chakma (7 years), son of Sunil Chakma, who died on November 1; Mangal Prabha (12 years), daughter of Sukradev Chakma, who died on November 3; and Nandi Bala (4 years), daughter of Jimidi Chakma, who died on November 4.

Two of the victims - Mangal Kumar Chakma and Mangal Prabha were from the same family.

According to the Gaon Burah (headman) of M-Pen village, many more children are suffering from the illness. There is no health care centre in the village. The villagers have to cover a distance of at least 7-8 kms by foot to reach the Sub-Divisional Hospital, Miao. The possibility of losing more precious lives cannot be ruled out in the absence of health care centre.

Out of the nine victims, five died in October 2011 alone. Yet, neither any immediate step was taken by the local administration to control the disease nor any health camp was set up. The health officials rushed to the village only after the deaths of four more children in November. 

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Definition of key UN terms

We all heard of the United Nations and its key terms. But, most of us are not fully aware of the definition of key UN terms. Given below is the list of key UN terms with their definitions.

Accede/Accession: Accession is an act by which a State (country) signifies its agreement to be legally bound by the terms of a particular treaty. It has the same legal effect as ratification, but is not preceded by an act of signature. The formal procedure for accession varies according to the national legislative requirements of the State. To accede to a human rights treaty, the appropriate national organ of a State – Parliament, Senate, the Crown, Head of State or Government, or a combination of these – follows its domestic approval procedures and makes a formal decision to be a party to the treaty. Then, the instrument of accession, a formal sealed letter referring to the decision and signed by the State’s responsible authority, is prepared and deposited with the United Nations Secretary-General in New York.

Adoption: Adoption is the formal act by which the form and content of a proposed treaty text are established. Treaties negotiated within an international organization like the United Nations are usually adopted by a resolution of a representative organ of the organization whose membership more or less corresponds to the potential participation in the treaty in question (the United Nations General Assembly, for example).

Article: International legal instruments generally include a Preamble (stating the reasons for and underlying understandings of the drafters and adopters of the instrument) and a series of ‘articles’, which lay out the obligations of those States choosing to be bound by it and procedural matters involving the treaty. The term ‘provision’ is often used as an alternative when referring to the content of particular articles.

Charter: The term ‘charter’ is used for particularly formal and solemn instruments, such as the treaty founding an international organization like the United Nations (‘The Charter of the United Nations’).

Convention: A ‘convention’ is a formal agreement between States. The generic term ‘convention’ is thus synonymous with the generic term ‘treaty’. Conventions are normally open for participation by the international community as a whole, or by a large number of States. Usually the instruments negotiated under the auspices of an international organization are entitled conventions (e.g. the Convention on the Rights of the Child, adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1989).

Declaration: The term ‘declaration’ is used for various international instruments. International human rights declarations are not legally binding; the term is often deliberately chosen to indicate that the parties do not intend to create binding obligations but merely want to declare certain aspirations. However, while the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights for example was not originally intended to have binding force, its provisions have since gained binding character as customary law.

Deposit: After a treaty has been concluded, the written instruments which provide formal evidence of a State’s consent to be bound are placed in the custody of a depository. The texts of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and its Optional Protocols designated the Secretary-General of the United Nations as their depository. The depository must accept all notifications and documents related to the treaty, examine whether all formal requirements are met, deposit them, register the treaty and notify all relevant acts to the parties concerned.

Entry into Force: A treaty does not enter into force when it is adopted. Typically, the provisions of the treaty determine the date on which the treaty enters into force, often at a specified time following its ratification or accession by a fixed number of states. For example, the Convention on the Rights of the Child entered into force on 2 September 1990—the 30th day following the deposit of the 20th State’s instrument of ratification or accession.  A treaty enters into force for those states which gave the required consent.    

Optional Protocol: The term ‘protocol’ is used for an additional legal instrument that complements and add to a treaty. A protocol may be on any topic relevant to the original treaty and is used either to further address something in the original treaty, address a new or emerging concern or add a procedure for the operation and enforcement of the treaty—such as adding an individual complaints procedure. A protocol is ‘optional’ because it is not automatically binding on States that have already ratified the original treaty; States must independently ratify or accede to a protocol.

Ratify/Ratification: ‘Ratification’ is an act by which a State signifies an agreement to be legally bound by the terms of a particular treaty. To ratify a treaty, the State first signs it and then fulfils its own national legislative requirements. Once the appropriate national organ of the country – Parliament, Senate, the Crown, Head of State or Government, or a combination of these – follows domestic constitutional procedures and makes a formal decision to be a party to the treaty. The instrument of ratification, a formal sealed letter referring to the decision and signed by the State’s responsible authority, is then prepared and deposited with the United Nations Secretary-General in New York.

Signature: ‘Signature’ of a treaty is an act by which a State provides a preliminary endorsement of the instrument. Signing does not create a binding legal obligation but does demonstrate the State’s intent to examine the treaty domestically and consider ratifying it. While signing does not commit a State to ratification, it does oblige the State to refrain from acts that would defeat or undermine the treaty’s objective and purpose.

State party: A ‘State party’ to a treaty is a country that has ratified or acceded to that particular treaty, and is therefore legally bound by the provisions in the instrument.   

Treaty: A ‘treaty’ is a formally concluded and ratified agreement between States. The term is used generically to refer to instruments binding at international law, concluded between international entities (States or organizations). Under the Vienna Conventions on the Law of Treaties, a treaty must be (1) a binding instrument, which means that the contracting parties intended to create legal rights and duties; (2) concluded by states or international organizations with treaty-making power; (3) governed by international law and (4) in writing.

Source: UNICEF, available at:  

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

CCRCHAP congratulates Nabam Tuki

By Tejang Chakma

The Committee for Citizenship Rights of the Chakmas and Hajongs of Arunachal Pradesh (CCRCHAP) on behalf of the Chakma and Hajong people of the state congratulated newly appointed Chief Minister Nabam Tuki on 1 November 2011.

Photo: Ritu Raj Konwar, The Hindu
CCRCHAP General Secretary Mr. Santosh Chakma, in a press release, stated “We believe Arunachal Pradesh will witness unbound economic development, social and communal harmony and peace under His Excellency’s able leadership as Chief Minister. We highly appreciate his priority for peace and communal harmony among all sections of the society and ensuring the rule of law.”

Expressing hope Mr. Chakma further stated “We look forward to a permanent solution to our long pending issue and firmly believe that the Chief Minister would certainly resolve the issue in the near future.”

Nabam Tuki was sworn in as the Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh on 1 November 2011. He became the 7th Chief Minister of the state replacing Jarbom Gamlin following days of political instability.