Titular king meets UNC leaders
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, January 21 2017: Titular king Leishemba Sanajaoba held a meeting with UNC leaders and appealed the latter to end the over 80 days old economic blockade in the name of God and on humanitarian ground.

Sanajaoba held a meeting with UNC leaders at Senapati from 7 pm to 9 pm yesterday and he pointed out that the indefinite economic blockade has been causing untold misery to the valley dwellers and the hill dwellers alike.

He then appealed to the UNC to lift the blockade in the interest of the fraternal relationships shared by different communities of the State even if the UNC's demand is quite legitimate.

The adverse impacts of the economic blockade were further multiplied by the Central Government's move of demonetising old Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes.

Transportation of goods to and from hills and valley and all essential commodities have become quite scarce while their prices have been soaring every passing day on account of the economic blockade.

The economic blockade has also severely affected the education sector, the titular king pointed out.

Titular king meets UNC leaders
Titular king meets UNC leaders

He also expressed deep apprehension that continued imposition of economic blockade might lead to untoward incidents.

Sanajaoba categorically stated that the hills and valley of Manipur are both complementary and supplementary and either one cannot stand alone without the other.

The meeting was held at the youth office of Kotamei village, Senapati.

UNC general secretary S Milan said that the people of Manipur particularly valley dwellers do not delve into the root cause of the ongoing economic blockade.

The State Government ought to respect and uphold the MoUs it signed with the UNC and the Government of India since 1981.The valley people only see the UNC's economic blockade while overlooking its root causes.

Creation of seven new districts on December 8 last year without consulting the stake holders gave birth to the issue of economic blockade, Milan said.

It was Chief Minister O Ibobi who opened a Pandora's box and he should be knowing how to close it.

Some issues may be negotiable but a few others may be non-negotiable.

The existing issue of economic blockade is something which can be resolved through dialogue but the State Government is not sincere enough, he said.

The State Government was saying that they had no idea about the tripartite talk scheduled on November 15 last year but later they contended they were informed in the 11th hour, Milan decried.

Reacting to Chief Minister O Ibobi's assertion that the whole territory of Manipur does not belong to any community but the Government, Milan maintained that land is the future of the people who inhabit it.

Without land or territory, there is no future for any community.

All the communities have been living together in peace and harmony with due respect for the traditional boundaries demarcated by the ancestors.

The creation of seven districts in the night of December 8 last year without consulting any stake holder belied the assurance given by the Chief Secretary on November 10 last year, Milan said.

He further pointed out that the titular king and the people of Manipur were hurt a lot when the State Government tried to take over the royal palace without consulting any one.

Milan remarked that the titular king's visit to Senapati in the chilly winter night would bring mutual love and respect between the hill people and plain people of Manipur.

Maintaining that only a tripartite talk can resolve the issue of economic blockade, Milan welcomed the State Government's invitation for such a tripartite talk scheduled on January 23 .

Nonetheless, the State Government has been informed that the tripartite talk should be held either at Delhi or Senapati and the UNC delegation should be led by arrested president Gaidon Kamei.

Former UNC president Samson Remei said that berating the UNC just by seeing the economic blockade and deployment of additional security forces would not bring any solution.

Paul Leo, another former president of the UNC, maintained that the existing issue is a result of Chief Minister O Ibobi's political game aimed at scoring political mileage in the forthcoming Manipur Legislative Assembly election.

Ibobi's political game implied that he intended to bring some communities closer while leaving the Nagas in the lurch, Paul Leo said.

This political game has widened the chasm between the hills and the valley.

It is not only the people of the valley who are suffering on account of the economic blockade.

Hill people have also been suffering equally.

Now, petrol has become very scarce in Senapati and its price is also soaring, Paul Leo continued.

Later Leishemba Sanajaoba wished that the tripartite talk of January 23 may bring understanding among all concerned and bring an end to the economic blockade.

UNC former president L Adani, art and culture secretary Rockson Shimray, Naga Hoho vice-president Samson Remei, ANSAM education secretary Thotso, finance secretary Joseph, NPMHR member Joyson, TNWL vice-president Mathankhui Zimik and Meetei National Front advisor N Tomba were also present at the meeting.

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