Northeast India Women Peace Congregation 2020 to focus on women's participation in peace talks

The third Northeast India Women Peace Congregation will be held on November 21

The Manipur Women Gun Survivors’ Network and the Northeast India Women Initiative for Peace and Global Alliance for Indigenous Peoples, Gender Justice and Peace along with various women leaders from across the region would be hosting the third Northeast India Women Peace Congregation on November 21 via zoom under the theme “Working towards our collective peace, justice and our rights”.

Founder director of Manipur Women Gun Survivors’ Network, Binalakshmi Nepram, in a briefing, said that the congregation started in 2015 in Manipur and was held in Guwahati the next year. The third congregation will be held through zoom due to COVID-19 pandemic, she said and invited people who are willing to join the congregation.

Binalakshmi Nepram said that the members will discuss to set up a truth and reconciliation commission for Northeast India for investigation into all forms of death, disappearances and genocide and ethnic cleansing of indigenous people from the region since 1949 till date.

“It is important to acknowledge the past, to understand the present and take positive steps for future peace in the region,” she said.

Nepram maintained that recognising racial, gender and environmental violence, population engineering, distortion of histories, cultures, language, rituals and indigenous ways of life in the region and finding ways to protect; acknowledge violence against indigenous women and girls, arms and narco-trafficking in the areas as it has greatly impacted on security and democracy would be discussed.

“It will also underscore bringing peaceful resolution of political settlement of the conflicts in the region and ensure that women are included in all peace talks, negotiation and decision making. No peace without women of Northeast India. No to peace talks without women,” she stated.

It is said that the congregation will also call for setting up of an anti-racial law to stop racial violence against indigenous peoples of Northeast India and repealing the Citizenship (Amendment) Act as it also impacts indigenous peoples.

Strengthening survivor’s assistance and ensuring economic empowerment programmes to help support women and children survivors of violence and all forms of violent conflict and working to stop threats and attack on indigenous women human rights defenders in the region will also be an agenda.

Binalakshmi maintained that a resolution will be drafted after the congregation.

In the briefing, Nganbi Lourembam and Arambam Nongdren from Manipur, Shaheen and Bonani Chakrborthy from Assam also participated.

Speakers from the USA, Sikkim, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Peru will be joining the congregation, Binalakshmi added.

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First Published:Nov. 20, 2020, 3:55 p.m.

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