TODAY -

Mao Gate Incident: An Affront to the Cause of Peace and Justice
- NSUD (Naga Student's Union, Delhi) -

New Delhi, June 5, 2010



From the office of
Naga students’ union delhi
nsu_delhi@yahoo.com
NSUD Press Release

People say peace is a prerequisite to stability, development, progress and growth and so all societies and nations strive for peace. However, genuine peace can be achieved only when systemic subjugations and exploitations are ended and justice restored to every section of the society. Peace without justice for all the people is a punitive peace, undemocratic and a sham.

To find an honourable and lasting peace to the Indo-Naga conflict a ceasefire was declared in 1997 between the Government of India and the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (NSCN). Creating a ‘peaceful environment’ through such mutual ceasefire is a perspective chosen in the protracted conflict situation for peacemaking rather than being an end in itself. It gives chance for peacemaking to the warring or conflicting groups, in order to absolve violence and find a way towards justice and liberty.

Thus, peace as a perspective taken to resolve the longest running political-military conflict in South-East Asia initiated between the Government of India and NSCN has opened windows of hope to the region through the Indo-Naga Peace-Process. With profound foresight and tenacity both the entities have shown sincere desire to settle the conflict within the given perchance of peace perspective by working out an honorable solution to the Indo-Naga political conflict.

Mr. Thuingaleng Muivah, General Secretary of the NSCN is the Chief Negotiator in the Indo-Naga peace process representing the Naga Nation. As a peace negotiator for his people, it has become imperative on the part of Mr. Muivah to undertake extensive consultations with his people. Ever since the Government of India invited Mr. Muivah to visit India, the latter has been consulting his people so that his representation may truly reflect the aspirations of the Nagas. However, the Manipur Government’s stiff opposition against the extension of ceasefire between Government of India and NSCN without territorial limit has restrained Mr. Muivah to take such extensive consultative meetings with the Nagas in Manipur.

Such defiant attitude of the Government of Manipur has warranted Mr. Thuingaleng Muivah to seek special permission of the Government of India to enter Manipur and was duly granted. Accordingly, the Ministry of Home Affairs, directed the Government of West Bengal, Nagaland and Manipur to make necessary security arrangement for Mr. Muivah to visit his birthplace, Somdal village, Ukhrul District, Manipur from 3rd May-9th May 2010. While, the Nagas awaited the homecoming of the peacemaker with traditional gates and garlands at Mao Gate, Manipur, and the rest of the communities of North East looked forward to ending hostilities in the region with his homecoming as a benchmark of the peace-process, the Government of Manipur willfully chose to use terror tactics to disrupt the Nagas awaiting their peacemaker by clamping section 144 CrPC all over Naga districts in Manipur. The high-handed actions of Mr. Okram Ibobi Singh’s Government upon the peaceful Naga congregation resulted in 2 deaths, 95 injured and hospitalized with many injured persons unrecorded and displaced more than 2000 Mao villagers into Nagaland in the aftermath of the Mao Gate incident on the 6th of May, 2010.

It may be noted that the present territorial boundary of Manipur which covers an area of 22,327 sq. km which the government of Manipur so zealously swears by as a 2000 years old territorial boundary is more of a political myth. Rather, it is a British colonial construct, effected after the Gambhir-Gordon Treaty in 1833 and many other similar arbitrary arrangements before and after independence of India that arbitrarily balkanised the Naga territory between Manipur and Assam. Under the treaty the British supplied arms and ammunitions to Gambhir Singh and in return he had to keep the Old Cachar Road between Imphal and Cachar safe for the British subjects from the ‘hostile’ Nagas. Prior to this, some kings of Manipur raided and extracted forced tributes from the adjoining Naga villages. This, however, should not be construed as the establishment of the political boundary of Manipur over the Naga territory. Burma invaded and occupied Manipur for seven years. Does it mean that Manipur is still a part of Burma just because Manipur was once conquered by Burma? One of the Naga peoples’ aspirations is the correction of such historical injustices meted out to them.

Unfortunately, Mr. Ibobi Singh is simply re-enacting the role of Gambhir Singh, the then king of Manipur who with his newly acquired British muzzle-loader guns and sepoys marched up to Kohima in 1833 along with the British and ransacked the Naga villages. The British colonial strategists cleverly exploited the social and religious divide between the Nagas and the Meities to their benefits. Independent India is no different from the British colonial regime in its strategy in the north-east. The stoic silence of New Delhi to the unfolding unrest in the region is deafeningly clear that it is watching the developments like the proverbial monkey adjudicating the cats in dispute. And the short-sighted acts of the government of Manipur will only squander the opportunity for dialogue for better relations between the communities living in the region.

Mr. Ibobi Singh, the Chief Minister of Manipur is known infamously for his terror tactics and fake encounter killings in the State for sheer lust of power. He is cleverly resorting to ‘Wag the Dog’ policy by raising the alarm of threat to Manipur’s territorial integrity and ordered the killing of innocent Nagas at Mao Gate to divert the attention of the people from his unpopular government. His policy has succeeded and now he has suddenly become a hero for the protagonists of territorial integrity of Manipur. Mao incident is another vivid example of Mr. Ibobi’s sponsoring of state-terrorism. His vitriolic affront to the proposed visit of peacemaker, Mr. Muivah and the imposition of the unwanted and powerless District Council election in the Naga districts have jeopardized the daily lives of all the people in the region because the Nagas have no other option but to impose bandhs and blockades on the national highways that passed through the Naga areas. The actions and policies of Mr. Ibobi have also damaged the painstaking efforts of Indo-Naga Peace Process and he has undoubtedly committed irreparable crime to the cause of peace and justice.

Selective and discriminatory role of Imphal based media is also highly deplorable. Journalistic ethics have been ignored and factual stories of the situations have not been fairly reported. Mainstream media may also be equally blamed for not giving adequate coverage to the unfolding situations in that part of the region. The media has a big role to inform, educate and facilitate in bringing about justice in society.

Civil societies based in Imphal valley resort to ethnocentric and highly chauvinistic rhetoric in their attempt to paint the Naga people, their movement and their leaders in poor light. The United Committee of Manipur (UCM) and the All Manipur United Clubs Organization (AMUCO) time and again resort to political rhetorics that all the people of Manipur are united to maintain the territorial integrity of Manipur. Such assertions are totally false and misleading. Let the world know that the AMUCO and the UCM are two Manipur valley-based organizations representing the interests of the Meiteis only and in no way they represent the Nagas living in the four hill districts, viz. Chandel, Senapati, Tamenglong and Ukhrul. So how can the AMUCO and the UCM argue that the whole people of Manipur want to maintain the territorial integrity of Manipur? How long should such falsehood and systematic suppression of the Naga peoples’ aspiration be allowed to continue? It is a well-known established fact that the desire of the Naga people is to live under a single political unit and be free from such deceptive and repressive state and its institutions.

Friends, the Naga Students’ Union, Delhi (NSUD) sincerely hereby appeals to all right thinking citizens to join hands in the effort to bring a peaceful solution to the ongoing standoff between the Government of Manipur and the Nagas and ultimately pave way for an honorable and lasting solution to the protracted Indo-Naga issue.

KUKNALIM


This information is sent to e-pao.net by Naga Students' Union Delhi. The sender can be contacted at nsu_delhi(at)yahoo(dot)com
This PR was webcasted on June 04 2010.


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