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Landmark dates in peace process : Where will Oct 31, 2018 stand ?
- The Sangai Express Editorial :: October 31 2018 -



August 1, 1997. August 4, 1997. June 14, 2001. June 18, 2001. August 3, 2015.

These are all important dates in the political dialogue underway between the NSCN (IM) and the Government of India and there are others too, but these dates come to mind immediately, when one talks about the journey of the peace process between the two entities.

It was on August 1, 1997 that the cease fire pact was inked between the NSCN (IM) and the Government of India and it was on August 4, 1997 that the first integrity rally was staged under the aegis of All Manipur United Clubs’ Organisation.

And it was on June 14, 2001 that the Bangkok Declaration was inked, which inserted the words, “without territorial limits” in the cease fire pact between the two entities.

What followed on June 18, 2001 is there for all to see and remember.

The truce pact certainly has travelled a long journey and perhaps the first tangible thing that has come from the years of negotiation is the Framework Agreement signed on August 3, 2015.

All important dates that immediately come to mind whenever one talks about the peace process underway between the Government of India and the NSCN (IM) (with other dates that may be thrown in).

The interesting question is whether October 31, 2018 too will find a place amongst the dates mentioned, say five or ten years down the line.

Interesting to note too that the UCM sponsored rally on October 31 may not have elicited that much interest if the United Naga Council (UNC) had not called the 12 hours bandh in Naga areas on the same date.

Wittingly or unwittingly the UNC seems to have given the needed push to the proposed rally called by the UCM.

One calling for an expeditious conclusion to the ongoing political dialogue based on the Framework Agreement and the other laying down the point that any final agreement should not impinge on the interests of Manipur in any way.

Why should the two demands run parallel to each other ?

The answer should not be too far to seek for while one is about recognising Manipur as a distinct geo-political reality, the other is about bringing all the Nagas inhabited areas under one administrative unit.

As stated many times in this column, while it remains to be seen what the final agreement will be it is more than clear that to those who stand by Manipur any agreement that dilutes the existence of Manipur as a geo-political reality will not be acceptable.

It is along this line that the stand of the people has gone from protecting the territorial integrity of Manipur to now saying a big no to any administrative set up that will bypass the authority of the State Government.

In other words it is a big no to any sort of autonomy along ethnic line.

It however stands that something will have to be given to the NSCN (IM) and the question of importance is what is it that something that will be acceptable to all sections of the people ?

This is a question which all should mull over for the fact remains that the people who are on opposite side of the Lim divide will have to live together whatever the final outcome and this is all the more reason why UCM and UNC should ensure that nothing untoward comes out of their proposed course of action on October 31.

Landmark dates in peace process Where will Oct 31, 2018 stand ? added by thesangaiexpress on October



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