Prior to this, there were many instances the Namdapha authorities are trying their best to remove us from our settlement. The most notable was when Kumar Waii, the Parliamentary Secretary for Environment & Forests came to Miao. He used blatant words: “…only two options for them. Either to take Rs 10 lakh per family and leave or take 2 hectares of land and other incentives and leave” (The Assam Sentinel, 11 April 2010). He spoke as if there are no third options.
On 20 September 2011, Arunachal Times published “Lisus say no to relocation from Namdapha National Park”. The news was a report of a meeting called by the Additional Deputy Commission (ADC), Miao, to handover a 200 hectares land to 84 Yobin families living in Nibodi and around. Our people plainly rejected this offer. This is not what we wanted. We did not agree to their offer so the ADC gave the time to submit our final decision on 10 October 2011.
We should take note that on 7 April 2010, a group of 10 representatives from our people submitted a memorandum to the Parliamentary Secretary for identifying suitable land for settlement. Based on that request a committee under the chairman of Circle Officer was constituted.
Subsequent to this news release, several of our people responded in the readers’ forum of Arunachal Times. Following were some of them:
- Let everyone value a human life over million lions by Avia.
- Live and let live by Avia.
- Something more than that meets the eye by Elvin.
- There is no tiger by Elvin.
- People are not made for the laws by Philip.
- Do not displace the people by Liahey.
- Conspiracy to exploit the vulnerable tribe by Phususa.
- Lisu/Yobin Vs animal by Phususa.
- Refugee in my own land by Phususa.
- A wrong place in 21st century by Atibosa.
And there were responses from government officers too. Its good to learn their perspectives too.
- Rehabilitation is not against Lisus by S. J. Jongsam, CF & Field Director, Namdapha National Park.
- The Lisus and Namdapha by ADC, Miao.
- Knock the right door instead of blasting words aimlessly by Chimoy Simai, Deomali.
- Think twice before you speak by Lomhom Tangha (at The Miao Times).
And our people had a one day meeting to report our final decision. It was submitted at ADC office as agreed on 10 October. Our points were: 1) We reject any rehabilitation package, 2) Add the 200 hectares land prepared for us to the Reserve Forest. And recognize our villages by the government.
I think our stand is strong. We are never leaving our homeland. Struggle is not easy because it is National Park cum Tiger Project.