TODAY -

Citing lack of progress under SoO for 7 years, KNO says 'no more signing'
Outfit lays bare Zalengam aspirations for Kukis
Source: The Sangai Express / Ninglun Hanghal

New Delhi, November 02 2012: Alleging that there has been little progress under the Suspension of Operation (SoO) pact which has been in force for seven years, the Kuki National Organisation, a conglomerate of different armed Kuki groups, has today declared 'no more signing' .

The present term of the agreement will expire on November 22 .

The (SoO) pact between the Kuki National Organization ( KNO) and the GoI, which was extended earlier in August will end on November 22 .

The said pact operation was signed in 2005 with the Central Government and later a tripartite SoO involving the Government of Manipur was signed in 2008 .

Addressing the media here, spokesperson of the outfit, Seilen Haokip said that seven years down the line and there has been no dialogue or sitting across the table to sort out a negotiation or an agreement.

Apart from considerable decline in violence, the SoO as it stands today is merely a symbolic gesture, with cadres housed in their designated camps, and arms and ammunition deposited in lockers, the keys of which are in the hands of both the army and the cadres.



Spokesperson of the KNO Seilen Haokip addressing the media
Spokesperson of the KNO Seilen Haokip addressing the media


Making his stand clear, Seilen Haokip said "We are not anti-national, but merely asking for our political rights" .

The KNO demands for creation of a Zalengam, under the Constitution of India, asserted the Kuki leader.

Zalengam would comprise Kuki inhabited areas which include Churachandpur, Chandel and Sadar hills.

On the question of territory, considering that other ethnic groups such as the Nagas and the Meiteis have their own political views, Haokip said that every ethnic group has the right to demand their own territory "as long as they don't step on our toes" .

Haokip maintained that the Kukis, Nagas and the Meiteis are all living together, like it or not, and if the Naga GoI negotiation can arrive at a conclusion to resolve the issue, the Kuki problem should also be solved which he said will promote peaceful co existence.

Further elaborating on the issues and concerns of the Kuki people , Haokip stated that development in Manipur is lopsided.

The Kukis have long suffered discrimination and deprivation, which has provoked a desire to carve out their own territory outside the existing State Government.

The SoO which was mutually agreed upon as a step towards building trust with the Governments, both in the State and Centre seems to have tested their patience.

The pact will end on November 22, indicating that the cadres will take up their arms again unless a dialogue is initiated by the GoI.

Making his stand clear, the Kuki leader said " no more signing" .

The KNO has a cadre strength of over one thousand housed in seven designated camps.


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