Aparajita Datta captured it well (Making headway in Down To Earth, April 15, 2006. Page 44):

“The Lisu had two suggestions  to make: either push back the park’s boundary or resettle Nepalis inhabiting  the area (Nepali families are economically better off, with better jobs and landholdings three times bigger than that of the Lisu); and give them more agricultural land in Vijaynagar circle. They also made it clear that they would not settle in areas near Miao, the traditional territory of other tribes”

PROBLEMS

The Yobin society had made our stand clear: either push back the Namdapha or resettle the settlers. This has problems both sides.

If the Park’s boundary is pushed back to 40th Mile, half of the Namdapha Wildlife Sanctuary will be lost. The authorities will hesitate alot or never want to do that. For them animals and trees have sometimes more value than human.

The option to resettle the settlers is difficult for the administration, not for wildlife people because they reside outside the Namdapha area. It would be even touch on  ex-servicemen to leave where they have been living for the last five decades. But if the administration  really want to do this action to save the Park, they just have to deny the renewal of the land lease, which is renewed every 30 years.

If either of the options are not provided as solution, it is very difficult for our community to servive. We have been crunched between 80 Mile to Angichidu (Ramnagar), about 12 km. Only Shidi has plain land. How would we survive as more than 90% of our people depend on land produce?

RESPONSES WE RECEIVED

In 2011, the Namdapha authorities and administration chaired by ADC, wanted to resettle us at 10 Mile. They want to see a settlement like Cheophelling Tibetan Settlement at Miao, where they cannot move beyond the boundary. How can we agree to such non-sense proposal?

Another observation, in the proposal, they gave solution only those currently living within the Namdapha Park. The problem is not just for them. It is for the whole tribe.

I wonder what other strategies our administration and the Namdapha authorities will have in mind. Whatever the proposal, none of them will be in our favour. They have never been thinking for our welfare. Their only mindset: How can Lisu/Yobin be thrown our of the Namdapha National Park.

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