June 18 public convention reaffirms stand on integrity of Manipur
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, June 18 2018: A public convention held today on the occasion of the Great June Uprising, Unity Day reaffirmed the collective stand on the integrity of Manipur and the sanctity of its territorial boundary.

The 17th anniversary of the Great June Uprising, Unity Day was organised by an observation committee comprising of AMUCO and UCM.

The anniversary function was opened with performance of customary rituals and offering of floral tributes to all those people who laid down their lives for the cause of Manipur's integrity which were followed by a public convention.

A blood donation camp was also held in collaboration with RIMS and JNIMS and simple gifts were presented to families of the martyrs who were killed in the June 18, 2001 mass civil movement.

The public convention presided by observation committee chairman and UCM president Sunil Karam, observation committee vice-chairman and AMUCO president Ph Deban Sharma and leaders of different civil society organisations adopted several resolutions.

The public convention attended by a large number of people from different parts of the State and beyond resolved that the integrity of Manipur and the sanctity of its territorial boundary should not be compromised under any circumstances but safeguarded collectively.

The second resolution categorically asserted that the Indian Parliament should not adopt any resolution or pass any Bill which can potentially disturb the integrity of Manipur and its territorial boundary.

There should not be any ethnic-based body or council and the contents of the Framework Agreement signed between the Government of India and NSCN-IM should be disclosed to public, read another resolution.

Speaking at the public convention, Ph Deban pointed out that the mass civil movement which erupted spontaneously in response to a palpable challenge to the integrity of Manipur has completed 17 years today.

The cease fire agreement signed between the Government of India and NSCN-IM in 1997 was confined to the State of Nagaland but the Bangkok Declaration of June 14, 2001 had the clause 'without territorial limits' and it literally put Manipur on fire, Deban said.

During the course of the historic mass civil movement, 18 people achieved martyrdom on June 18, 2001 and some other people too lost their lives thereafter.

Of the many people who sustained injuries in the course of the movement, some were maimed for life.

Kekrupat and June 18 are symbols of Manipur's unity because 18 people laid down their lives for the cause of Manipur's integrity on June 18 and their mortal remains were put to rest at Kekrupat.

Not a single person belonging to any of the indigenous communities of Manipur was harmed or offended in the course of the mass civil movement, Deban recounted.

Several external forces have been challenging the integrity of Manipur throughout its long history.

The Seven Years' Devastation, the British occupation of Manipur and the alleged forceful merger with India on October 15, 1949 are all landmark chapters in the history of Manipur, he added.

Now a large section of people have been waging a liberation movement, he noted.

In the aftermath of the alleged forcible merger with the Indian Union, the Government of India has been persistently following several divisive policies with a sinister design to disintegrate Manipur, said the AMUCO president.

Even though there were some instances of unwanted incidents between different communities in the past, all key CSOs of the State are now working with a commitment not to allow recurrence of any such unwanted incident.

In the midst of incessant influx of non-local people, the Government of India has been working to pass the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 .

Leaving aside all differences, all the people of Manipur must work collectively to overcome all common issues and threats posed by sectarian peace process to the integrity of Manipur, Deban said.

Sunil Karam said that the Government of India removed the clause 'without territorial limits' from the Bangkok Declaration on July 27, 2001 only after 18 people laid down their lives as if they understood only the language of violence.

Even today it appears there is a de facto cease fire in Manipur and both the State Government and the Central Government have been acting totally indifferent, Sunil decried.

The 21 year old so called peace process can never bring peace in the North East region if it is basically about making Manipur, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh sacrificial lambs just to please a particular community.

On the contrary, it would bring violence of much greater scale, warned the UCM president.

The contents of the Framework Agreement signed on August 3, 2015 are still kept a closely guarded secret.

Both parties (New Delhi and NSCN-IM) have been making all kinds of incoherent and contradictory statements about the secretive Framework Agreement, he added.

There is a strong possibility that the Framework Agreement contains something very inimical to the collective interest of Manipur because the Government of India cannot control either NSCN-IM nor its interlocutor RN Ravi from making incoherent and contradictory statements, Sunil Karam said.

It is a matter of grave concern if what RN Ravi stated and published by the Indian Express last month were true.

People of Manipur will never accept any supra State body or an autonomous council or any arrangement which can potentially disintegrate Manipur, asserted the UCM president.

There is no option other than mass movement if the Government of India continues to challenge the integrity of Manipur and the sanctity of its territorial boundary, Sunil Karam said while adding "In such a scenario, we must avenge all the martyrs who laid down their lives for the cause of Manipur's integrity".

UCM consultative committee members RK Ranendrajit, H Ibotombi Khuman, AMUCO advisor NC Khuman, Nupi Samaj president Thokchom Ramani, Poirei Leimarol Apunba Meinr Paibi Manipur president Longjam Memchoubi, Kangleipak Lamjing Apunba Meira Lup president Y Leirik Leima and Kuki Women Union Manipur advisor Rose Mangshi Haokip too attended the public convention as presidium members.

Zeliangrong Union (AMN) vice-president R Chandra Haomei, Kuki Inpi Manipur member Khaimang Chongloi, Aimol Tribe Union Manipur president RT Akhel Aimol, Purum Cultural Troupe and Literature Committee president Mamsokam Bapui, DM Community College, Centre for Kausal Director Dr Rahejuddin Sheikh, Laikot Kharam village Chairman R Sangneingir, Lamlanghupi Chothe village Khullakpa Thou Jatra Chothe, Tripura based social worker Chingtham Anil Singha, Karbi Anglong Manipuri Cultural Association executive member Thokchom Biren and Manipuri Sahitya Parishad, Hojai District Committee president Ashem Shyamkishore were also seated on the dais.

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