KNO observes 26th raising day
Source: Hueiyen News Service / NNN
Imphal, February 24 2013 :
The 'homeland' demand of the Kuki people was strongly echoed today during the 26th Raising Day of the Kuki National Organisation (KNO), one of the two umbrella organisations of the various Kuki militant outfits.
The other umbrella body is the UPF.
The Raising Day was held at Mata Lambulane near Churachandpur district headquarters.
ZRA foreign secretary H.Calvin was the chief guest in today's occasion, United People's Front (UPF) spokesman L.Sanga was the guest of honour and Kuki Inpi, Manipur president Thangsei Haokip was the function president.
The programme included showcasing of cultural dances from different troupes of the Kom, Hmar, Paite , Zou , Thadou , Khoibu, Maring , Gangte and Chothe.
In his presidential speech, KNO president PS Haokip recalled on February 24, 1988, KNO was formed at Molnoi Kuki village near the Indo-Burma border to restore Zale'n-gam, the Kuki nation to its state of former glory when self-rule prevailed among our people.
"On this auspicious day, I also extend salutations to all the departed souls, who sacrificed their lives for the Kuki nation.
Today, they may not be with us in person, but their memories will remain a living memory to the Kuki people," PS Haokip said.
"From the time I took on the onerous responsibility of leading KNO, it has been my desire to personally meet each and every one of you and express my gratitude.
It is also my aspiration to interact with you and enlist your goodwill to work together to govern ourselves in order to preserve, secure and develop Zale'n-gam, our ancestral land given to us by the Almighty.
I sincerely mean this because we all need to co-operate to revive Zale'n-gam its former state of glory.
"With a view to restoring Zale'n-gam to its historical glory, the help of every clan and sub-clan is solicited.
For example, in 1992, the late Pu SNG Haokip invited representatives to engage in sharing and discussing Kuki nationalism and the ideology of KNO in Churachandpur so that we may achieve self-determination for our people," the KNO chief recollected.
"Similarly, in 1994 KNO took the initiative to welcome our 'Old Kuki' brethren in Chandel, who left NSCN (IM) to return to their roots.
Similarly, the same people who were with NSCN (K) have also been enlightened and have started to return to the Kuki fold.
United Minorities Liberation Army and Pakan Revolutionary Army are living examples.
This is the blessing of God upon our people who made sincere efforts to build and strengthen Kuki unity.
Our forefathers were blessed by the Almighty even when they did not know Him.
Today, with our faith in Him, I believe our people will receive showers of blessing! "Zale'n-gam: The Kuki Nation was published 1998 to communicate my vision for the Kuki people as it was not possible to deliver it to you in person.
Every 'tribe' of Zale'n-gam from A-Z is listed in the publication.
In alphabetical order come under 'Any Kuki Tribes' in Manipur, which includes Aimol, Anal, Baite, Chiru, Changsen, Chongloi, Chothe, Doungel, Gangte, Guite, Haokip, Hangshing, Hmar, Kipgen, Kharan,Khoibu, Koirao, Koireng, Kom, Lamkang, Lhungdim,Lunkim, Lupheng, Lupho, Mate, Maring, Mayon, Misao, Mongmi, Monsang, Ngon, Paite, PurumRalte, Simte, Sukte, Tarao, Thadou, Thangal, Thangeo, Tuboi, Vaiphei and Zou," PS Haokip went on to say in his presidential speech.
He then stated that efforts have been made to write-up on each of the tribes.
On some they are lengthy, but on some less lengthy.
"I request more information on any of the tribes so that they can be included in the next edition, especially those tribes or sub-clans, which may not feature in the last edition.
The book also relates our unified stand to preserve our territorial integrity against the British colonialists in the Kuki Rising, 1917-1919," he added.
"By God's grace today the Kuki people are represented in KNO.
In August 2005, KNO and the Indian army signed Suspension of Operation, when KNF (MC) and KNF (Z) joined the KNO umbrella.
By 2006, the armed wing of KNO grew to include i) Kuki National Army, ii) Kuki National Front (Military Council), iii) Kuki National Front (Zogam), iv) United Socialist Revolutionary Army, v) Zou Defence Volunteer, vi) Zomi Revolutionary Front, vii) United Komrem Revolutionary Army, viii) Hmar National Army and ix) Kuki Liberation Army.
In a ground-breaking development, the United Old Kuki Liberation Army (Khoipu and Maring) and Pakan Revolutionary Army joined KNO, respectively in December 2007 and 2008.In 2010, Kuki Revolutionary Army, Kuki National Front (S) and another Kuki Liberation Army led by L Timothy Kuki joined KNO, raising the umbrella organisation's strength to a formidable 15.Following these developments, Kuki Unity Celebration was held on 30 October 2010 at Molnom Community Hall.
The media team covered the entire programme, which was telecast and published in the newspapers.
The Manipur Express interviewed me during which crucial aims and objectives of the organisations were discussed.
"The KNO website, kukination.net (link zale'n-gam.org) was launched in 2006.In 1999, Kuki was represented for the first time in the United Nations Working Group on Indigenous Populations at Geneva, Switzerland," PS Haokip stated.
"On August 9, 2006, KNO and its armed wing, represented by Dr Seilen Haokip and myself, signed the Deed of Commitment to Ban Anti-Personnel Landmines with Geneva Call at Geneva.
KNO is the 31st organization to sign this important agreement from amongst other organisation all over the world.
KNO memorandums were also submitted to UN General Secretary and the India and Burma Missions at Geneva," PS Haokip revealed.
According to PS Haokip, after twenty years of persistent and committed efforts, the government of India began the process of official meetings with KNO on 4 February 2008 at New Delhi.
The KNO delegate was led by PuLalminthangVaiphei, vice-president, Pu TS Haokip, Secretary Defence, PuSeithangDoungel, Kuki leader and Dr Seilen Haokip, spokesman KNO.
Zale'n-gam: The Kuki Nation, revised with additional text, was published in 2008.Numerous copies have been distributed the world over.
With a view to achieving an amicable political solution for the Kuki people, KNO signed Suspension of Operation with the Government of India and the state Government of Manipur on August 22, 2008 at New Delhi.
A KNO National Convention was held in Lamka from 12 November to 3 December 2009.Important resolutions were passed during this convention in regard to our land and the Kuki people political future.
Adding to the process of building Kuki unity, in 2009 through the efforts of KNO, the generations-old division between the Mate brothers Lhangsung and Chethang was amicably resolved.
"After a gap of several centuries on August 2, 2010, the customary ritual of Satingpehwas observed in the Songthu lineage.
In order of seniority, Guite of Lamjang, the eldest in the lineage of Songthu received Sating from the eldest in the leanage of Thitou,Doungel of Aisan; Doungel of Aisan received Sating from Kipgen of Leikot, the eldest in the lineage of Touhin; Kipgen of Leikot received Sating from his twin brother Haokip of Chassad and their uncle Chongloi of Jangnoi; Kipgen of Leikot shall also receive Sating from Hangshing of Vongjang and Thadou of Jampi, the youngest of the three brothers," PS Haokip added.
In December 2010, David Hangsing and Dr Seilen Haokip attended a meeting on 'Improving the Protection of Women and Children in the Context of Armed Conflict', organised by Geneva Call in Geneva, Switzerland.