PEACEBUILDING AND CONFLICT TRANSFORMATION IN NORTH EAST INDIA

 

Partners

JUST Agartala, DAN/Peace Channel, DSSS Imphal, BGSS Bongaigaon and NESRC Guwahati

Ecumenical Peace Consultation was held during 29-31st October 2018, at the Council of Baptist Churches in Northeast India (CBCNEI) jointly organized by; Asia Pacific Baptist Federation ( APBF) ; North East Diocesan Social Service Society (NEDSSS): Joint Peace Mission Team ( JPMT); NEI – ACTION DESK – NCCI ( National Council of Churches of India); Council of Baptist Churches in Northeast India (CBCNEI). During the 3 days’ discussion, a number of issues were mentioned as possible causes of conflict; Land, disrespect for humanity, tribal and  group rivalries, unnecessary denominational divisions, marginalization of refugees, minorities, and tribes who work in tea gardens, resorting to political and ethnic violence as an inadequate solution to finding harmony and peace.
The participants who came together to seek a solution to the  trauma, tension, anxiety and violence in the Northeast Region of India, were of the opinion that by responding to the invitation in the  Gospel to be  the salt and light of the world, the Christian Communities can make a significant contribution to improving the life of the people. This goal can be achieved not only by individuals but also through the team work of all the community of believers. In the present situation of conflict and turmoil, following the path of compassion as taught by Christ, the believers can intervene and bring positive solutions in the region. The participants resolved to promote compassionate communities wherever they work and live using their strength and resources.  

Seminar on peace for CBOs, Intellectuals, Academicians, Bureaucrats and media

It was organized on 27th October with the participation of 21 males & 23 females. The objective of the seminar was to bring together decision makers on a common platform to discuss on peace education and its relevance in Naga society.

Training for Religious Leaders on Peace building, mediation, and dialogue

Two trainings for religious leaders were organized on 13th & 20th October 2018. The programme was attended by religious leaders from different religions. In the first one, the Chairman of People’s Forum Nagaland gave a brief introduction about the Peace Forum Nagaland and its initiatives in Nagaland. After the training, there was an open discussion where the religious leaders shared about their understanding on peace and skills needed for dialogue and mediation to solve conflicting issues.
In the second one, the participants agreed that today as number of violent conflicts still continues in different parts of the world, it is time to renew our efforts to mitigate conflicts as peace can be built only through action, and not with non participation. Mr. Arhomo C Ngullie, urged individuals to be responsible and to work together for the development of peace and tranquility in the society.

Seminar on Women’s Role in Peace Processes

Seminar on Women’s Role in Peace Processes was organised by NESRC at Jagriti on November 2-3. It began with a keynote address on Women’s Role in Communal Violence, by Teesta Setalvad of the Centre for Justice and Peace, Mumbai. The first session was on Mainland India, with a paper each from Jammu and Kashmir, Communal Violence in Uttar Pradesh and Maoist Violence in Nepal. The next four sessions had papers from all eight States of the Northeast.

Training for SHGs/ OFGs/ PVTs and RCs on peace-building skills

Programmes were conducted in Kingkin Village, Churachandpur on 9th Oct.18; S. Haijang on the 13th Oct. 18; S. Haijang on 14th Oct.18; Tuibuong on the 14th Oct. 18; Awangtang, Ukhrul on 24th Oct.18; Dungrei, Ukhrul on 25th Oct.18; and again at Thongkin, Chandel on 11th Nov.18; Kingkin Village, Churachandpur on 17th Nov. 18, Monsang Pantha, Chandel on 25th Nov.18; S. Haizang, Churachandpur on 23rd Nov.18,

There were 108 participants. Participants discussed in-depth about the concept and components of corruption & were enlightened about the new knowledge gained. A new desire to end corruption at all levels was felt by the participants who understood the need of good governance for the development of the village and peace. SHGs also were exposed to the various schemes and entitlements operational in the State of Manipur.

Training for youth on life skills, conflict resolution and leadership

Three trainings were organized for youth at District Training Centre, Churachandpur on 18th & 19 Oct.18, another one at Monsang Pantha, Chandel on 30th Oct.18 and yet one more at Hamleikhong Ukhrul on 17th November, 2018. The trainings were jointly organised with DSSS, IGSSS, NYK and Career Pathfinder. The total number of participants was 45 male and 47 female with a total of 92 participants. The aim was to create awareness and inculcate the knowledge of life skills and mediation among the youth, guiding them to make informed choices and decisions in personal life and career.

Annual Youth Programme

Programmes were organized at Monsang Pantha, Chandel & Tuibuang, Churachandpur on 19th – 20th Oct & 8th Nov 2018 with participation of 53 males & 39 females to build peace and brotherhood among youth through games and sports.  The objective was to instill discipline, healthy competition & fairness in dealing with various situations in life, gender equality for peace. The activities made the participants aware of the need for unity and reconciliation among the youth for peace & development. Reflection on roles & responsibilities as peace messenger in the society was carried out.

District level dialogue for peace, conflict resolution and human rights

A “District level dialogue for peace, conflict resolution and human rights” was organised at Ambassa and Twikarmaw on 19th and 23rd October 2018. There were 82 participants. Explanation was given about peace building skills, four levels of conflict and 5 steps on how to manage conflicts according to Maccoby and Studder. The resource person spoke on 30 basic human rights and also shared some details and meaning of Human Rights. He also shared on the ongoing issues about National Register Citizens of India (NRC), Schedule Caste and Schedule Tribe (prevention of atrocities) Act 1989, Human Trafficking prevention Act, Forest Conservation Act 1989 and Community Rights. 

Life skills and leadership skills for the youth club

Training on “Life Skills and Leadership” was organized with the Maharaja Bir Bikram youth peace club members of Khumluwng on 13th October 2018. The resource person shared 10 core life skills like self awareness, empathy, critical thinking, creative thinking, decision making, problem solving, effective communication, inter personal relationship, and coping with stress. He also shared 6 Positive Behaviours of a Leader which are – to think critically, to solve problems, to respect people, to communicate skillfully, to set goals and share a vision.

Workshop for religious leaders

Workshop for religious leaders on Anti Human Trafficking and POCSO Act was organized at Bishop’s House, Agartala on 2nd October 2018 on the following topics:

  • Human Trafficking- the meaning, occurrences and various kinds of trafficking
  • Human Trafficking recruitment, movement, exploitation, reasons behind human trafficking and constitutional provision against human trafficking
  • Indian National Legal Framework amendment, penal code and Act
  • Child Marriage Prohibition Act 2006
  • Child Labour (Prohibition and regulation) Act 1986
  • National Policies and Plans on Child Labour, Empowerment of Women, National Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking and Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Women and Children.

The measures suggested were education at school level; create awareness at school level, have peer groups/learning and sharing among peer groups; orient teachers on human trafficking; etc. The talk ended with the saying: ‘we can be agents of change too, restoring faith….ensuring hope’.
The 2nd session was on POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act 2012), making the participants aware of the types of offences and punishments in the Act.  

Training on Good Governance for women peace club members

The peace project staff organized training for women peace club members on Good Governance on November 2018. The project staff explained that the concept of good governance is undoubtedly linked with the citizens’ right of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. This could be secured in a democracy only through the rule of law. Good governance means securing: justice, empowerment, employment and efficient delivery of services. Good governance has eight major principles: 1. Participatory 2.Follows the rule of law 3.Transparent 4.Responsive 5.Consensus-oriented 6.Equitable and inclusive 7.Benefit sharing effectively and efficiently 8. Accountable
The model of good governance: 1.Family 2.Schools and Colleges 3.Health centres 4.State Structures 5.Economic Structures