News Wrap


The Union Government of India has put the US based non-profit Ford Foundation on its watch list, and restricted movement of its funds without prior approval in ‘‘national interest and security’’. At least seven premium central institutions run research and scholarship programmes that drew over $2.5 million from the Foundation between 2008 and 2013. Many of the beneficiaries like IIT Mumbai, IIM Ahmedabad, National Law School of India University, Jawarhalal Nehru University, Jamia Milia Islamia, G B Pant Social Science Institute and National Academy of Legal Studies and Research did not need the government’s permission to accept funds for projects, being statutory bodies, whose finances are subject to audit. The government views the Ford Foundation as violating its ‘‘stated goals of promoting communal harmony, democratic principles and social justice’’. The educational institutions do not need the government’s clearance, unless foreign accounting is involved. The Ford Foundation maintains that it is a charitable foundation, where everything is transparent and readily available on its website. Applying the Foreign Contributions Regulations Act, the government has put the Ford Foundation of USA on its ‘‘watch list’’, and ordered that all funds coming from the International Organisation have to be routed only with its prior sanction, due to ‘‘National Security concerns’’.

The Union Home Ministry has suspended the Registration of Greenpeace India. Seven bank accounts of Greenpeace India has been frozen. The organisation has been barred from receiving foreign funds for allegedly violating FCRA, and ‘‘prejudicially’’ affecting India's public and economic interests. In the absence of funds for staff salaries, Greenpeace India is facing an ‘‘imminent’’ shutdown, after fourteen years in India. The Union Home Ministry’s decision to block the organisation’s domestic bank accounts, could lead to not only the loss of 340 employees, but a sudden suspension of campaigns on issues of sustainable development, environmental justice, and clean, affordable energy.

Myanmar—Manipur Border
Myanmarese soldiers have been regularly harassing Tengnaupal district’s (Manipur) villagers for taxes, since the 1970s. The villages were virtually under the control of the Myanmar army. It takes two days to reach the villages, via Myanmarese territory. The international border was marked by Pillar 66, which has disappeared. In July 2013, Myanmarese soldiers constructed a border fence through Hollenpai village, on the Indian side, three kilometres from the border town of Moreh. The Myanmarese force commander claimed that they had informed the local Assam Rifles unit about thirty days in advance. India is constructing an integrated check point complex at Moreh, and Myanmar is also claiming this land. There have been recent incursions by Myanmarese soldiers into Manipur’s Churo Khunao village (Ukhrul district). Taking advantage of the 1994 Indo-Myanmarese  trade agreement, that guarantees free movement in up to 10 km of each other’s territory, Myanmarese soldiers are foraging into Indian territory, on the excuse of apprehending insurgents. The Myanmarese  Security Forces are collecting taxes from Manipur border areas.

Trans-border movement of insurgents and nacro-trafficking has become more active with the recent formation of the ‘‘government in exile’’ by nine north-east India militant outfits, calling itself the United National Liberation Front of West-South-East-Asia, and headed by Naga SCN (Khaplang), which recently terminated its fourteen year truce, with the Union Government of India. Seven Assam Rifles personnel and one Territorial Army jawan were killed in an ambush in Mon district (Nagaland) on 03 May, 2015. They were fired upon by underground militants, when they had gone to Changlansu with water tankers, to fetch water.

Maosits on Relief
Quake-hit Nepal’s opposition left parties, like UCPN-Maoist, CPN-Maoist and Nepal Majdoor Kisan Party have termed the distribution of relief materials by foreign nations, including India, as a threat to its national security. They have asked Prime Minister Sushil Koirala to be cautious. Senior opposition leaders have warned that national security could be under threat by ‘‘foreign intervention’’ in the name of rescue and relief operations. They have claimed that India’s relief distribution activities ‘‘are posing a threat to national security’’, and have urged the Nepal Prime Minister to ensure that the activities of the Indian military and rescue teams should be limited. Indian ‘‘intervention’’ is increasing in Nepal following the earthquake and allegedly only focusing on Tribhuvan International Airport, and towards the Northern border with China.

Nepal’s neighbouring states of India and China are providing material aid and reconstruction. International non-governmental organisations have swiftly moved to provide relief to the stricken population. As earthquakes strike with scant warning, western nations are providing scientific and engineering expertise. More than 60,000 people of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh origin have fled Nepal and crossed into Bihar, using the international border at Raxaul.

Vol. 47, No. 50, June 21 - 27, 2015