White paper on disassociation of Liangmai from Zeliangrong organisation
- Part 2 -

Liangmai Naga Council, Manipur *

Chagah Festival : Annual festival of Liangmai community celebrated at Taphou Liangmai village, Senapati :: Oct 30, 2012
Chagah Festival : Festival of Liangmai at Taphou Liangmai village, Senapati in Oct, 2012 :: Pix - Popcha Yambem

Birth of Joint Working Committee: On seeing the uncompromising attitude of the involved leaders, a joint consultative meeting of Inpui Union, Manipur, Zeme Naga Council, Manipur, Liangmai Naga Council, Manipur and Rongmei Naga Council, Manipur along with their respective frontal organizations and Church leaders was convened on the 30th August 2010, at Nagaram Village Community Hall, Imphal. Members present felt and expressed the need of patching up the differences between the two rival groups.

To do the job of negotiation and mobilization of public opinions, a body called Joint Working Committee of four cognate tribes ie. Inpui, Zeme, Liangmai and Rongmei was formed by the said meeting. The Joint Working Committee started consulting the former leaders of ZU, intellectuals, peoples representatives and bureaucrats. The JWC toured some parts of Tamenglong District like Tamei Hqrs, Tamenglong Hqrs and Longmai village and met the elders, former leaders sensible individuals to seek their opinions and suggestions to the prevailing social impasse.

People appreciated the initiative of JWC. The committee had taken 16 rounds of consultation meetings. Majority of opinion was to organize a common platform of Makuilongdi descendants. The JWC thought it wise to seek the opinion and stand of the two contending parties. It would be fruitless if they do not come to understanding and patch up their differences.

So JWC met the Presidents of both ZU and ZB separately and requested them to come to negotiating table to sort out differences. At last they agreed to come to a joint meeting convened by JWC. Accordingly a joint meeting of all concern including Presidents of ZU and ZB was convened on the 7th September 2013, at Tarung Community Hall, Imphal. Unfortunately, both the Presidents (ZU & ZB) did not turn up for the meeting. They took lame excuses and questioned the authority and validity of JWC.

Their non participation to the agreed meeting speaks of their egocentric and unconcern attitude for the society. It appears that they are more concern for their own affairs. The JWC is a good will mission team and adhoc in nature. It will be dissolved as soon as the differences were patch up and come to form one strong and unified body.

Stand of Liangmai Naga Council, Manipur:

(i) On seeing the indifferent and uncompromising attitude and egocentric mindset of Zeliangrong leadership, the Liangmai Naga Council had taken a decision to the effect that LNC(M) would not support neither ZU nor ZB as long as they insist on their own stand.

(ii) LNC in one of its executive meetings held on 5th November 2014, decided to disassociate from the Zeliangrong body as long as they stand for Zeliangrong as a single tribe. However, LNC would support and involve as usual if they work as social organization. The decision had been intimated to all concerned organization.

(iii) The decision of the LNC executive meeting to disassociate from the Zeliangrong body was endorsed by the peoplesí convention held on the 9th October 2015, at Konsaram.

(iv) In the meantime, a joint consultative meeting of ZU & ZB held on the 5th May 2017, at Namdunlong Imphal had resolved to reunite themselves to a single body. LNC welcome their initiative of uniting themselves into one single body. The said joint consultative meeting had resolved to draft a new constitution and drafting committee was constituted. They had purposely and conveniently excluded Liangmai in the drafting committee vide Resolution No 4. LNC accept the keeping aside of the Liangmai from the said Committee.

Accordingly LNC had Officially announced to part from the erstwhile Zeliangrong organizations. It had also been stated to strike out the term, LIANG from their organizationís nomenclature. There is no any kind of misunderstanding nor hatred among the people of Zeme, Rongmei and Inpui. The Liangmais are always in good terms and have concern for one another.

(v) The said Joint Consultative meeting of ZU & ZB under Resolution No. 5 had resolved to submit a representation to the Government of Nagaland to recognize Zeliangrong as a single tribe. This is not acceptable to LNC and others because Liangmai and its cognate tribes like Zeme, Rongmei and Inpui had already been recognized as a distinct and separate Scheduled tribe in the State of Manipur by the Government of India, under the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order (Amendment) Act, 2011. (No.2 of 2012)

Denial of Membership to United Naga Council: Of course, prior to the rectification of misnomer name of Kabui and Kacha Naga, the people of Zeme, Liangmai and Rongmei were represented by the erstwhile Zeliangrong Union to UNC and other social platforms. After a sharp split in the organization set up and formation of another parallel apex body, the aforesaid people were represented by Zeliangrong Boudi.

After rectification of misnomer tribesí name, the Zeme, Liangmai and Rongmei Councils approached UNC with relevant documents for affiliation to UNC several times. UNC turned down the requests of the tribes councils, on the ground that they have been represented by Zeliangrong Boudi. Zeliangrong Union or Zeliangrong Boudi is purely a social organization whereas UNC is a tribe base organization. UNC flatly rejected the repeated submissions because of the presence of ZB in UNC body.

The issue of affiliation to UNC had reached to the notice of Zeliangrong Regions, GPRN. The Regions Co-coordinating Committee convened a joint meeting of Region leaders and tribes council executives and President/ZB at Dimapur. After a detail and minute deliberations, the joint meeting entrusted the President of Zeliangrong Boudi to convene a meeting and recommend for affiliation of Zeme, Liangmai and Rongmei to UNC.

All members present in the meeting including President of ZB agreed to the decision. Later on, they (ZB) said that the decision of Dimapur meeting was unofficial so they did not convene the meeting. LNC therefore, think it wise to disassociate from the Zeliangrong organizations and had taken decision of disassociation from the Zeliangrong organizations.

Why should LNC affiliate with UNC?

The United Naga Council is the Apex Civil Society organization of all Naga tribes in the southern Nagalim sector, Manipur. Every recognized Naga tribe in the State of Manipur, by virtue of being Naga is the constituent unit of the Council. Decisions taken in the presidential council of UNC is binding on every tribe and any directive from the higher authority comes through UNC.

It implies that If any tribe or any person is not a member of this apex body, the tribe or the person is not Naga. Being Nagas, Liangmais have every right to be a member of Naga Apex Body. But the Liangmais have been denied membership in UNC on the ground that a social organization called Zeliangrong Boudi represents Liangmais whereas UNC is a tribe base organization. We are afraid that our rights of being a Naga citizen might be deprived off if we are not in the decision making body.

Objectives of LNC Disassociation from Zeliangrong: The primary and foremost concerns of the LNC is to form a strong and unified body of all kindred tribes who have Makuilongdi ancestry under a suitable nomenclature acceptable to every constituent unit. All the descendants of Makuilongdi could not be encompassed under the umbrella of Zeliangrong. The LNC is determined to work with its other cognate tribe bodies to achieve the goal.


(Issued by Liangmai Naga Council, Manipur on March 22 2018 )

* Liangmai Naga Council, Manipur wrote this article for The Sangai Express
Dr Suresh Singh is Ex-Director, Health & WHO Fellow
This article was posted on May 01, 2018.

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