The Forgotten Corner: Insurgencies and Opportunities in North-East India Roundtable Report
Posting Date: 4 May 00
Author(s): SAP Canada Secretariat
Attached file: Northeast India SAPFinal1
The northeastern region of India has always been a collage of the most contradictory images. The historical alienation of the people of these seven states – Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura – and their present-day sufferings demonstrate the lack of political will over generations, before and since the independence of India, to address the root causes of their discontent.
The purpose of the Roundtable was:
- to understand better the state of human rights and governance in North-East India;
- to explore various initiatives towards conflict resolution and peacebuilding in the region;
- to present a Canadian perspective and experience in conflict resolution.
The keynote address for the roundtable was made by Tapan Bose, general secretary of the South Asia Forum for Human Rights, which is based in Kathmandu, Nepal. The participants also heard from Shaukat Hassan, researcher at the International Development Research Centre, Ottawa; and from Professor Aditya Dewan of Dawson College and Concordia University. In addition to their presentations, Mr. Bose and Mr. Hassan also provided useful background papers, the former dealing with political movements and events in each of the seven states, the latter with problems in the relations between India and neighbouring countries deriving from the situation in North-East India. Facts and salient points from these papers have been included in this report, for a fuller understanding of the issues.
Jim Junke, director, South Asia Division, Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Eileen Stewart of the India, Nepal and Sri Lanka program of the Canadian International Development Agency, and Craig Benjamin of Amnesty International made short presentations. The roundtable was chaired by Richard Harmston, Executive Director of SAP Canada, and the organization of the roundtable was managed by Renée Giroux, Program Manager, Sri Lanka Canada Development Fund and Isabelle Valois, Pakistan Program Manager for SAP Canada.