Ex-UNC presidents blame CM Ibobi
Source: The Sangai Express
Imphal, January 22 2017:
Former United Naga Council (UNC) presidents KS Paul Leo, Samson Remei and L Adani have categorically stated that the ongoing indefinite blockade was initiated by Chief Minister O Ibobi, and only his wisdom and realisation can stop it.
A joint statement issued by the three former UNC presidents lamented that the people of the 'present State of Manipur', specially the intellectuals have not questioned this man (O Ibobi) .
He has been accepted as the champion of a community, which has been subtly engineered to differentiate the others from their interest.
The UNC is the apex tribe based civil society organization of the Nagas in Manipur mandated to protect the land and rights of the Nagas in particular and the tribals in general, said the statement.
There are four Memorandum of Understandings with the Government of Manipur and Naga organizations that creation of new districts would not be done without consulting the stakeholders.
There is also an assurance from the Government of India, based on the declaration of Chief Minister O Ibobi, in the presence of the then Union Home Minister Chidambaram and UNC delegation that such a sentiment would be respected.
The stakeholders are those whose lives, land, livelihood, situation and opportunities would be affected by such decision.
This position is democratic, fair and Constitutional.
These MOUs and assurance did not emerge from the magnanimity of the Government of Manipur but each of them were extracted with agitation and with self inflicted pains, asserted the former presidents.
"The issue of land is very dear to the tribals and Nagas.
Land gives us our identity.
Our culture, way of life and value system evolves from our relationship with the land.
Land is our present and land is our future", they continued.
The Chief Minister is on record stating that land belongs to the State and not to any community, going against the very spirit and letter of Article 371 C of the Constitution which clearly gives cognizance to the land rights of the tribals in Manipur State.
"He has from his official position also gone on to state that there are no Nagas in the State of Manipur, negating, our identity that has evolved through history, land and political consciousness", the former UNC presidents decried.
At the fag end of his present tenure with barely few months left, Ibobi chose to desecrate the MOUs and assurance, knowing fully well that extreme protest will follow, knowing that social divides will aggravate, knowing the people will suffer.
They went on to question what noble purpose inspired this man (Ibobi) and his Government to create not only two districts which was vehemently opposed but seven districts at midnight drawing lines that would divide peoples, that would alienate people from their ancestral domain, that would disturb peaceful co-existence of communities.
He is truly the Chief Minister of his own and not of the entire people of the State, the former UNC presidents added.