Traditional leaders to demand constitutional recognition from Aiyar

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Shillong, Dec 6 (UNI) The Dorbar Nongsynshar Ka Ri Hynniewtrep, a conglomerate of the Federation of Khasi States, Ka Dorbar Ki Doloi, Ki Sirdarships and Council of Nokma's, has decided to send a delegation to meet Union Panchayati Raj Minister Mani Shanker Aiyar.

Federation of Khasi States spokesperson John F Kharshiing said the decision was taken after threadbare discussions and deliberations on the resolutions passed at the First and Second People's Parliament held on January 14, 2004 and October 6, 2007 at the meeting held on Monday.

The Tribal Chieftains in Meghalaya had resolved to urge the Centre to create an Upper House for the traditional rulers of the state. The proposed 60-member Upper House, to be named as Meghalaya Legislative Council, would comprise Khasi Syiems(Chief), Jaintia Dolois (Chieftains) and Nokmas (Clan Chieftains), besides representatives from all sections of society, including women, Mr Kharshiing said.

The chieftains had reiterated their demand for constitutional recognition in accordance with the Instrument of Accession and Annexed Agreement of December 15, 1947, within the Constitution for the unique administrative, legislative and judicial powers in the both people's parliament.

Mr Kharshiing said the Union Minister expressed keenness to meet the chiefs and rulers(Syiem, Doloi, Lyngdoh, Sirdar and Nokma) to discuss the issues raised by the Dorbar in their recent letter to the minister.

He also pointed out that ''a time bound proposal that they would introduce a bill and legislation to pave way for Constitutional recognition and Direct Funding to the Dorbar in the first session of the new Meghalaya Legislative Assembly and felt that this clear announcement was a step in recognition of the ground realities that the institution of Dorbar Shnong, Dorbar Raid and Dorbar Hima have been ignored and marginalised for too long.'' Mr Kharshiing claimed that there were many in the Dorbar (traditional assembly), who expressed their dissatisfaction on the inability of the elected representatives of the State to introduce legislation to provide constitutional recognition to the indigenous institutions and inclusion of the Instrument of Accession and Annexed Agreement 1947-48, in the Constitution of India, to ensure protection over the indigenous rights over land, water, forest and mineral resources.

In regards to the past unkept promises of the political parties for the last 35 years, the Dorbar unanimously resolved to take up this matter at their Executive Dorbar and also urged the Village Dorbars to discuss this indifferent attitude of the State Government in resolving this long pending political issue of constitutional recognition of the Dorbar Shnong, Raid and Hima.

UNI

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