TODAY -

Open Dialogue demands new provision in Article 371(C)
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, November 18 2017: "Any structural body such as pan Naga cultural body, provincial/territorial council or financial autonomy or ethnic administrative division which directly or indirectly acknowledges NSCN-IM's demand for integration of Naga-inhabited areas of the North East should not be formed" .

A one-day open dialogue on 'Possible outcomes of the Framework Agreement in the context of Manipur' was held today and it resolved that the Government of India should incorporate a new provision in the Constitution's Article 371(C) under which the State Assembly's consent is made mandatory for the Government of India to interfere in any matter related to the political, historical and social identity of Manipur.

The open dialogue held at Lamyanba Shanglen, Palace Compound was jointly organised by AMUCO, CCSK and UCM.

The huge gathering resolved to urge the Government of India to add a new provision to the Article 371(C) so that any attempt to fragment or polarise different communities of the State can be checked effectively.

The second resolution says that State ratification should be made compulsory in case the Indian Parliament must invoke Article 3 of the Constitution of India in Manipur.

The Framework Agreement signed between the Government of India and NSCN-IM on August 3, 2015 should not impinge upon the integrity of Manipur and its territorial boundary in any manner, reads the third resolution.

Any policy or programme which is based on the Framework Agreement should not be implemented in Manipur without consent of the State Government and the people of the State even if it respects the sanctity of the territorial integrity of Manipur.

This was another point unanimously agreed at the gathering.

Any structural body such as pan Naga cultural body, provincial/territorial council or financial autonomy or ethnic administrative division which directly or indirectly acknowledges NSCN-IM's demand for integration of Naga-inhabited areas of the North East should not be formed.

The open dialogue was opened with AMUCO president Ph Deban Sharma, CCSK vice-president Jeetendra Ningomba and UCM president Elangbam Johnson as presidium members.

Giving key-note address of the public dialogue, UCM general secretary YK Dhiren remarked that a Framework Agreement was signed between the Government of India and NSCN-IM on August 3, 2015 with the purported objective of bringing the political dialogue going on between the two parties since 1997 to a final stage.

Even though other militant groups based in Nagaland were not parties to the political dialogue, Government of India's interlocutor RN Ravi met many leaders of these militant groups last month and they expressed their willingness to join the dialogue process.

As such, many people now believe that a solution would be worked out soon, Dhiren said.

With the Government of India stubbornly refusing to divulge details of the Framework Agreement, there is a growing apprehension that a solution worked out between New Delhi and the Naga militant group may affect the integrity of Manipur and its territorial boundary.

The public dialogue is organised to discuss all possible impacts of the Framework Agreement and any solution based on it, and take a united, concrete position, Dhiren said.

The public dialogue moderated by Prof N Joykumar was participated by many prominent senior citizens, intellectuals, student leaders and leaders of several civil society organisations.

Almost all the speakers were unanimous on certain points.

They categorically stated that any challenge to the integrity of Manipur and the sanctity of its territorial integrity should not be tolerated, and ifnecessary, Manipur's pre-merger political status should be demanded.

AMUCO president Ph Deban proposed that a unanimous decision be adopted within 30 minutes and take up necessary action in case any solution worked out between New Delhi and NSCN-IM challenges the integrity of Manipur and the sanctity of its territorial boundary.

“We would like to inform the Government of India that civil movements that erupt in response to any threat to the integrity of Manipur this time would be much more massive and determined than the civil movement of June 2001 ", Deban said.

UCM president Elangbam Johnson said that the resolutions adopted today would be sent to the Government of India as well as the State Government.

If the Government of India ptill chooses to appease NSCN-IM at the cost of Manipur, there would come a time when the people would be compelled to take extreme decisions, he said.

The Government of India must not challenge Manipur's territorial integrity, her people, unity and polity, he added.


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