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Devpt policies for NE worry NEPA
Published on 10 Jul. 2009 12:59 AM IST
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A two-day Conclave of Northeast Peoples Alliance (NEPA) held in Kohima at The Heritage, comprising of seven research based grassroots organizations based in different Northeast states has expressed worry with policies concerning developmental dynamics of NE region, which have most often been conceived and framed by people who have never stayed or visited the Northeastern region. NEPA members including CPD Mizoram; BPHRO, Tripura; River Basin Friends, Assam; FIPA, Manipur; DICE Foundation, Nagaland; ACR, Arunachal Pradesh and ACT, Sikkim in a release issued here Thursday said that famous documents such as NE vision 2020 and “over-referenced” India’s Look East Policy have all been behind the development discourse dominating official perspectives of various state governments in Northeast. They pointed out that while recognizing the fallacies of neo-liberal policies and learning from the lessons of global economic meltdown, the duplication and replication of same policies in NE by various agencies of the Government of India has severely threatened the people of NE region on the questions of livelihood, land rights and ever depleting natural resources. NEPA observed that implications of various loans and grants from financial institutions for projects prepared and identified by policy makers “sitting in the cool confines of Delhi, Manila and Washington,” further negates the ability of people from the region in determining for themselves the development models and paradigms that would best suit the people of this region. Situating the NE as a pivotal centre in the internationally critical and contentious issues on water, territory, natural resources, climate change, the NEPA has urged state governments in Northeast to appeal Centre to review India’s relations with neighboring countries like Bangladesh, Myanmar, China and Bhutan. It noted that various bilateral and regional agreements that existed or are being proposed between India and abovementioned countries on the issue of trade, finance and development were critical to the survival and progress of the people of Northeast. Seriously concerned about the exclusion of peoples’ participation in all the major developmental projects in Northeast and the lack of transparency in formulation of important policies in Northeast, the NEPA said it was committed towards mobilizing various human resource pool of northeast to find ways and means to address all responsible through various forums in NE region.

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