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5th Horsepower motor sports challange to start


Kohima, September 3, 2014: The 5th Horsepower Challenge will be held at the NFA ground Meriema in Kohima from September 3 to 6. It is to be organised by Nagaland Adventure Club (NAC) and supported by Directorate of Youth Resources.

Commissioner & Secretary Youth Resources & Sports, Menukhol John will grace the inaugural function as the chief guest. NAC has informed that scrutiny of 4x4 vehicles and cars for Autocross will be conducted on 3rd September while scrutiny for Motocross (2 wheelers) will be conducted on 4th September.

Drivers will be competing on two categories, the 4x4 Off Road and the Autocross while the Motocross will witness three categories, the Novice Class, North East Class and the Open Class. Parliamentary Secretary, Youth Resources & Sports and Advisor MTF, Khriehu who is also the Patron of NAC will be the guest of honour for the closing function.

A prize money of Rs. 3 lakhs is up for grabs at the 5th Horsepower challenge.

Students join awareness for tiger conservation


Guwahati, September 2, 2014: As a part of Sanctuary Asia’s ‘Kids for Tigers’ project, Sanctuary Asia, in association withAircel, conducted an 'edutainment' workshop in Karara HS School. Through the workshop, Kids for Tigers seeks to increase awareness among children about India's biodiversity and sensitize them to the fact that saving tigers and their forests will also secure our water supply and in turn help save ourselves.

‘Kids for Tigers’, launched by Sanctuary Asia magazine in the year 2000, as an environmental education programme for schools across India, aims to bring out the vital connection between the survival of the tiger and the ecological security of the Indian subcontinent. The programme, in its 10th year, is being sponsored by Aircel and is an integral part of 275 schools and as many as 500,000 students in 15 cities in India.

On the occasion Mr. Pradip Goswami, Principal of Karara HS School said, 'Awareness programmes like the Kids for Tigers are most essential for the students. This is an excellent initiative taken by Sanctuary Asia to spread the message among the children of our country. This is the first time that we are having such a programme at the Karara H.S. School and me and my entire team of 35 teachers are happy to support it.'

PM to address school chidren live


Shillong, August 30, 2014: The Prime Minister of India Naredra Modi will address to all the School children throughout the country on the occasion of Teachers’ Day celebration on September 5 from 3:00 p.m. to 4:45 p.m.

The programme can be viewed live from all the National and Regional channels of the Doordarshan.

It will also aviable through Webcast/Video Screen on YOUTUBE while the All India Radio will also telecast live.

Hundres of schools in northeastern states have been specially identified to facilitate lakhs of students view and hear the speech of the Prime Minister.

Nagaland Speaker disqualifies 3 MLAs


Kohima, August 26, 2014: The Nagaland Legislative Assembly Secretariat in a notification has stated that disqualification of three members of the 12th Nagaland Legislative Assembly by the Speaker.

It said Speaker took action on ground of their defection under Article 191(2) of the Constitution of India has accordingly declared three seats vacant with effect from June 16 last.

The disqualified MLAs and their seats that have become vacant are Imtilemba Sangtam : 52 Longkim-Chare (ST), Dr. T. M. Lotha : 38 Wokha Town (ST) and Mmhonlumo Kikon : 40 Bhandari (ST).

Film festival ‘Fragrances from the North East’ commences


New  Delhi, August 22, 2014: Minister for Information and Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar has said that the Government is fully committed to mainstream new initiatives in the North Eastern region across different sectors. The objective was to harness the rich potential of the region with regards to its geographical and cultural diversity.

The initiatives outlined in the budget reiterated the commitment of the Government in mainstreaming the North East region. The endeavour of the Government was to provide all support in bringing about a perfect synergy between talent and capital across different sectors in the region.  

Javadekar stated this while delivering his address at the inaugural function of the three day North East Film Festival on the theme ‘Fragrances from the North East’. The Chief Minister of Meghalaya Dr. Mukul Sangma highlighted the different initiatives undertaken by the State Government to build a strong base for film making in the region.

The inaugural function was attended by actors and directors from the region, including Manju Borah, Geetanjali Thapa, Oinam Gautam Singh, Mapuia Chawngthu, Alex Lalchhuankima, Abdul Muzid, Tashi Lhamu, Leishangthem Tonthoingambi Devi and Meena Debbarma. The inaugural function was followed by a cultural evening by PAPON, singer and composer along with his band ‘The East India Company’.

Khawnglung Run (Mizoram), directed by Mapuia Chawngthu was the opening film of the festival. 

JFA condemns scribe's beheading in Syria


Guwahati, August 22, 2014: The abduction and murder of a foreign journalist in Syria by the militants and later publicizing the crime through the online video have shocked the conscience of media world. Journalists Forum Assam (JFA) from the eastern part of India has also expressed shock at the incident and urged the media fraternity of the globe to come one and all condemning the brutal act.

International media reports disclose that James W. Foley, an American photo-journalist was abducted in November 2012 from somewhere in Syria and later he was beheaded by an Al-Qaeda splinter group Islamic State. The militants in an online video claim that the 40 years old scribe was slaughtered as an act of retribution against U.S. military intervention in Iraq.

In the video posted to YouTube, a masked executioner addressed US president Barak Obama personally and threatened more bloodshed against Americans, including another captured American journalist (Steven J. Sotloff), who was also depicted in the video. Obama has already condemning the act of beheading that shocks the conscience of the entire world and pledged renewed determination to confront the terrorist group calling itself the Islamic State.

Meanwhile, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), a media rights body has also condemned the barbaric murder of James Foley, who was kidnapped and held almost two years in Syria before the act of beheading. According to the Reporters without Borders (RSF), Syria remains a dangerous country for the working journalists for more than two years.

The Paris based media persons’ rights body revealed that 44 journalists have been killed in 2014 till today where the motives have been cleared that the victims were targeted because of his/her activities as a journalist.

The deadliest countries include Syria (10), Palestine (7), Ukraine (4), Philippines (3), Central African Republic (2), Iraq (3), Libya (2), Brazil (2), Afghanistan (2), Egypt (1), Colombia (1), Mexico (1), Democratic Republic of the Congo (1), Somalia (1), Bangladesh (1) and India (Tarun Kumar Acharya), claimed the RSF.

Beheading of a journalist and uploading its video online is a matter of great concern for everyone in a civil society, said a statement issued by JFA president Rupam Barua adding that the barbarism shown by the militants should be denounced by each and every citizen with minimum humanity and moral.

BSF’s plantation drive makes record


Agartala, August 19, 2014: BSF has created a record on Tuesday by unleashing a massive plantation drive throughout country in 60 minutes time. The programme is set to enter Limca Book of Record .

BSF carried out plantation of saplings across frontiers with Pakistan and Bangladesh. In Tripura, main plantation programme was organised at frontier headquarters in Agartala.

Plantation of saplings  was inaugurated by B N Sharma ,Inspector General of Tripura Frontier. This plantation drive was simultaneously carried out in the bordering areas in India from 9.30 to 10.30am.

BSF officers and Jawans planted lakhs of saplings to make the earth more greener and environment friendly. Saplings were  exchanged with border Guard Bangladesh at Agartala border to spread the message to save earth, officers said.

Demand for constitutional protection of tribes


Itanagar, August 18, 2014: The BJP has raised a demand for a suitable amendment of constitution to delete the words "any Naga tribe" suffixed after the Nocte, Tangsa, Wancho, Tutsa and other tribes in the Scheduled Tribes list of the state.

The party In a representation to the Union Minister of Tribal Affairs Jual Oram in New Delhi mentioned that the tribes, residing in Tirap, Changlang and Longding districts, are subject to humiliation as they face identity crisis and are left out from various official facilities as they are not recognised by the Centre as separate entities from "any Naga Tribe". .

The party told the union minister said the youths of these districts while appearing for UPSC and state Public Service Commission examinations are also facing problem because of the name.

Governor Achariya pays tribute at 2nd World War Cemetery


Kohima, August 14, 2014: Nagaland and Tripura Governor P.B. Acharya paid tribute to the IInd World War heroes at the Commonwealth war cemetery in Kohima on even of Independence Day. The Governor laid a wreath in honour to the brave soldiers of the British Regiments and Indian Units, who laid down their lives at the battle of Kohima and who for our today and gave their yesterday.

The Governor remarked that, “The sacrifice for the country is the greatest thing that one can aspire to give to the country.” He expressed that the battle of Kohima had indeed decided the course of history for the world as well as for India.

He added that the ‘War Cemetery’ should ever be the example of sacrifice to all and should be a place of inspirations for selfless sacrifice in our service to the country.

Boycotting militants on Independence Day

Nava Thakuria

As India approaches Independence Day (I-Day), the usual outbursts start pouring from the separatist militant outfits of northeast India to boycott the auspicious day celebrations. With more to it the
insurgent groups try to impose a general strike on that day to prevent the observations in the alienated region. It happens this time too, as the militant outfits based in the region have issued statements asking the indigenous people of the trouble torn region not to participate in the I-Day functions as a ‘mark of protest’ against the Union government in New Delhi. They also gave a call for the strike starting from the midnight of August 14 till the evening of August 15 in order to boycott the celebrations.

The militant outfits including the United Liberation Front of Assam (Independent), National Democratic Front of Bodoland (Songbijit faction), Kamatapur Liberation Organisation, National Liberation Front
of Tripura with the coordination committee of some Manipur based armed groups, asserted that the people of the region would not tolerate any festivities on I-Day. However, as usual the Journalists’ Forum Assam (JFA) has come out with the appeal to defy the militants’ diktat and celebrate the forthcoming I-Day with fanfare.

The active and brave scribe’ body argues that every patriotic Indian should observe the I-Day (and the Republic Day) to pay their heartiest tributes to the known & unknown martyrs of India’s freedom movement for their supreme sacrifices. The JFA appealed to the residents of the region to come forward to pay his/her homage to hundred thousand martyrs of the freedom struggle against the British colonial forces on both the auspicious Days and hoist the National flag in their residences, colonies and other significant locations in a festive manner.

“The National flag does not belong to the government machineries alone, rather it is a priceless property of the billions of devoted Indians. Many martyrs of Assam including Kanaklata Barua, Mukunda Kakoti, Kushal Konwar, Tilak Deka, Bhogeswari Phukanani, Nidhanu Rajbangshi, Kamala Miri, Lerela Boro, Madan-Rauta, Hemoram Patar, Gunabhi Bordoloi etc laid down their lives for the honour of the Tricolour,” said JFA president Rupam Barua. The north-eastern part of India gives shelter to nearly 20 active and neutralized armed outfits which are waging a war against New Delhi for
different demands ranging from sovereignty to self-rule for the indigenous populace.

But many outfits now face splitting while some of them start engaging in peace talks with the governments after thousands of their cadres were killed in the counter insurgency operations carried out by the security agencies and also in factional disputes.  Thousands also surrendered to the authority to join in the mainstream society.

Losing fast their support-bases in the last few years, the ant-talk factions of the militant outfits still keep on sending rhetoric press statements to make their presence felt. Occasionally they also indulge
in violent activities and always survive on the extorted money from the ‘rich and tainted’ residents of the region. Under the leadership of JFA, the media fraternity of Guwahati have already made it a habit to oppose militants’ diktat on the celebration of both the I-Day and R-Day. The journalist’s body has urged the city based media persons and patriotic citizens to join in the celebrations of 68th I-Day on the premises of Guwahati Press Club on 15 August starting with unfurling of National flag at 11 am.

Though initially faced threats from the militant leaders and humiliations from the so-called ‘Assam lovers’, the city based media persons have been observing the auspicious Days for more than a decade now. They are unanimous in their views that every Indian citizen has the right to criticize the governments, but no way have they enjoyed the authority to disregard the sacrifice of millions of martyrs of India’s freedom struggles.

Nava Thakuria is a senior journalist and Secretary of the Guwahati Press Club.