Thursday, September 11, 2008

Massive rally taken out in support of L Monika; Weightlifter says she will stay away from competitions

IMPHAL, Sep 10: A massive rally to highlight the Manipuri people’s cry for justice in the controversial Monika issue was taken out in Imphal today.In a public meeting at the concluding part of the rally, L Monika declared that she would not participate in any sports event till justice was delivered in her case.The Manipur Olympic Association president, E Binoykumar has also said that his association would continue to press the concerned authorities for speedy justice in the case.Today’s mass rally was organized by DESAM, MSF and AMSU in coordination with the coordination committee formed against the discrimination of Monika in light of her non-inclusion in the recently held Beijing Olympics. The rally started from the main stadium of the Khuman Lampak sports complex around 11 am and concluded at the Iboyaima Sumang Leela Shanglen where a public meeting was held.Manipur Olympic Association president, E Binoykumar said that the treatment meted out to Monika should not be taken lightly as it was not just about her sports career but also a challenge to all the citizens of Manipur. “We have to meet this challenge as a united whole and ensure that she gets justice. The guilty has to be produced before the people,” he said. He further added that no genuine sports lover would have stooped so low as to make false accusations against a sportsperson and then remain silent.“We have great appreciation for sportspersons in our state and despite all efforts to curb the pace of Manipuri players, they have always emerged victorious proving that nothing can prevent excellence,” he added.By giving justice in the case, the authorities should show that there is no room for dirty politics in sports in the country.Speaking at the meeting, L Monika said that though she felt a great sense of disappointment when she could not make it to the Olympics, she was heartened with the support from the people of Manipur. “I appeal for your support to ensure that the truth comes and I get justice,” the weightlifter said.Even thought she expressed doubts at the delay in bringing justice, Monika said that she has decided not to participate in any of the championships till justice in the case was brought about.Many enquiries have been made in many controversial cases in the country but justice remained a far cry till date, she said being skeptical at the delay in bringing justice in her case like most other enquiry commissions.Premananda of the AMSU speaking at the meeting, said that this was not the first case of discrimination against the players of the state. “So we the people of Manipur should this time fight for justice to teach a lesson that there was no room for injustice and dirty politics in sports.”Later, the meeting adopted a six-point resolution among which the most important was to condemn discrimination against sportspersons on the basis of his/her ethnic background, race or colour.Other resolutions included to put up the matter of alleged racial discrimination practiced by the officials of the Sports Authority of India to the notice of the International Olympic Committee and other international sports bodies for appropriate punishment to them.Another resolution was to approve lifting of boycott on the participation of state players in the national and international championships giving the CBI enquiry a chance to deliver justice to Monika.The meeting also reaffirmed the demand of the coordination committee to press the Central government to make a separate sports policy for the north eastern region of the country and to allow participation in the international sport events separately.To build a sports movement to produce more sportspersons in the international arena was also resolved in the meeting. (Courtesy:IFP)

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