Padmashri Natwar Thakkar, founder general secretary of Nagaland Gandhi Ashram said Human Rights cannot be protected without Democratic value and that society would withdraw its violent moves to uphold the Human Rights. Citing an example on traditional local self governance in Nagaland, Natwar appraised the traditional system of local self governance in the Northeast inhabited by indigenous and tribal people to protect and preserve the traditional customs and law of the land.
He was speaking at the six -day regional training on ‘Democracy and Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples of North East India’ held at Shilpgram, NEZCC, Panjabari, Guwahati that concluded on July 12
In his presidential keynote address, Jebra Ram Mushahary, President, ICITP-NEZ, expressed concern over the ongoing inter-ethnic community conflicts in North Cachar hills and called upon every tribal and organization of the region to come together under one umbrella and show their solidarity and support in the trouble torn areas of NC Hills district of Assam.
Others who spoke at the inaugural session included Dilip Nunisa, chairman, Dima Halam Daogah (DHD), Rajib Bora, advisor, ULFA Pro-Talk, and Jason Pan, representative from Taiwan Foundation for Democracy, Birsing Munda, C-in-C, Birsa Commando Force, and Prafulla Hafila, president, All Dimsa Students’ Union, Assam.
During the six days training programme, related topics and issues on the concept and practice of democracy and Human Rights (Democracy and Human Rights): Conceptualization, application and challenges in North East India, International Human Rights with special references to indigenous peoples: mechanisms, tools and interventions, public awareness campaign or voting rights and or the social costs of public corruption: education counseling and legal aid for the prevention of violence against women, present judicial system and action, role of judicial branch in a democracy, improvement of judicial system, modern traditional judicial officials on the rule of laws, public education and training for indigenous independent journalists on the role played the independent media in a democracy were delivered by different scholars, facilitators and intellectuals from in and around the region and abroad.
Activities including mock exercises, question and comments, group discussions, group wise presentation and declaration of recommendation were some of the highlights of the training programme.
Altogether 151 participants from 45 different communities and organizations of the region attended the programme including six member delegates from Nagaland. The programme was chaired by Dr. Ram Dayal Munda, former vice-chancellor, Ranchi University.
The training programme was organized by Indian Confederation of Indigenous and Tribal Peoples North East Zone (ICITP-NEZ) in collaboration with Sanzukta Janajati Aikya Manch, Assam, and All Dimasa Students’ Union with partial support from Taiwan Foundation for Democracy.