TODAY -

AA demand
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, April 16 2013: The United Naga Council (UNC) has urged the President of India to expedite the process of Alternative Arrangement for Nagas of Manipur outside the Government of Manipur.

The UNC highlighted its stand in a memorandum which was submitted during the visit of the President.

Stating that even after fifteen years of cease-fire and negotiation, amidst assurance of an early solution, an honourable settlement of the Indo-Naga issue has not taken place till date, the UNC also urged for expeditious settlement of the Indo-Naga issue.

The Nagas in Manipur, under the aegis of the UNC had submitted a memorandum on the demand for alternative arrangement to the Government of India through the Union Home Minister on the September 14, 2010 at Delhi.

Acting on the said memorandum, the Home Minister had initiated the democratic process of dialogue through the tripartite talk of the GoI, the Government of Mani-pur(GoM) and the UNC and there has already been 5 rounds of talks, the UNC reminded through its memorandum.

Apart from being subjected to the convenience of the GoM, the tripartite talks have been limited to the technicality of centre and state relationship/jurisdiction and on the development initiatives of the Government of Mani-pur for the tribal areas in the State of Manipur.

The issue is not about development deficit or bringing improvement in the existing system.

Development would not and cannot happen in the tribal areas unless an alternative arrangement outside the existing system of the GoM is put in place.

The core issue of the demand for alternative arrange- ment for the Nagas in Mani-pur outside the Government of Manipur pending settlement of the Indo-Naga issue is not being addressed in the dialogue process.

The demand for alternative arrangement is premised on the sharp social divide on communal lines in the present state of Manipur, which the Prime Minister of India had noted with concern in the 40th conference of DGPs on August 26, 2010 .

This social divide is not a recent development but was inherent in the construction of the present state of Manipur and even prior to the merger of Manipur to the Indian Union.

It was vitiated by decades of suppression, subjuga- tion and hegemonic domination of the Nagas and tribals by the communal Govt of Manipur, the UNC alleged.

The core issue is the impossible conditions in which Nagas and tribals exist under alleged the communal Government of Manipur, unable to live with dignity and honour and have their land, traditional institutions, culture and way of life protected.

Through use of state forces and sanctions obtained with brute majority, the rights of the Nagas and the tribals in Manipur are being surely and irredeemably taken away.

The demands for an alternative political and administrative arrangement is being objected and subjected to the interest of the communal Government of Manipur, which is informed and determined by the brute majority of 40 representatives from the Imphal valley in a total house of 60 .

If the GoI is serious and sincere in ensuring that the Nagas and tribals in Manipur should live with respect for their dignity, their rights to their land, traditional institutions, culture and way of life and not as second class citizens, it is imperative for the GoI to intervene with an alternative arrangement.

"Should the GoI plead helplessness citing the technicality of Centre-State relationship, then it condemns the Nagas and the tribals to continued deprivation and suppression and GoI becomes the knowing and willing abettor of the injustices to which we have been subjected to," the UNC said.


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