TODAY -

Open letter to former ATSUM leaders : June 25 2013

TKS / CDSU / ZSUM *



In the event of the ugly heads surfacing in the print media for holding ATSUM election under the aegis of the baseless former ATSUM leaders devoid of the constituent federating units of ATSUM, it is felt necessary to set the record straight to avoid any misgiving or confusion arising out of the ongoing allegations and misunderstanding surrounding the affairs of ATSUM. It is for all the right thinkers, laymen, Student activists and public leaders to understand as to why former activists are always raising their ugly heads in their own volition and individual capacity without the consent and endorsement of the federating units?

If Traditional culture of any community permits to do so, the very existence of traditional organisation or Student bodies is posing a great threat of its existence. It is a proven fact that ATSUM which remained defunct for almost 2 years after the expirary of Mr. Thomas Thaisii can be counted as a period of manipulation as everything went topsy-turvy in matters pertaining to Tribal issues.

The open curse to the extent of splitting in vehement protest against the former leaders of ATSUM for negotiating the GoM for money & contract work is still disgusting to the Tribal populace. Perhaps it will take some time to build up the confidence of the people unless exemplary action is shown by the incumbent executive members of ATSUM. Two years down the line is a long period of suppression, exploitation and manipulation by the existing ruling SPF Govt. and the Tribal leaders are contended with their contract works and so forth.

With the passage of time, election commission was constituted for holding ATSUM election. Having set all the election procedures, election of all the key posts was supposed to be held on 4th June 2011 at Ashok /Imphal Hotel. The candidature for the topmost post i.e. the president was a straight contest between the former president Thomas Thasii from Senapati District and Vareiyo Shatsang representing the Tangkhul Katamnao Saklong (TKS) from Ukhrul District.

Having delivered presidential candidature speeches, ballot paper were sealed & signed, while, all of a sudden, one of the commissioners (the president of KSO) walked out declaring in his capacity that election wouldnít be conducted unless equal representation is made at par with the Naga Tribes.

In this way, a devilish game plan was hatched to crush the objective of the new timers under the leadership of KSO.

Whereas exigent to the crisis arising from the debate between convention as the overriding constitution and the assertion that a working guideline based on democratic principles should prevail, the differences between the tribal leaders couldnít be settled amicably for a pretty period of months. Being toothless, the election commission couldnít reschedule the date of election on a sound pretext that election brings disunity & friction among the Tribal.

As repeatedly requested by the Non- Naga Tribes to follow conventional practice of deputing a candidate by a popular mandate by alternate turns, nomination filed for various post was declared null and void. A 3 memberís election commission so formed for election of the next tenure 2012-2015 was also dissolved in good faith to enable forging of Tribal unity.

In a proceeding adopted in the august assembly held at old Lambulance, Imphal included finding a consensus candidate from amongst the Non- Naga Tribes by a system of selection/ election based on a popular mandate of its federating unit. It is worth mentioned here that the KSO and ANSAM, the two community based organisations were given an ample time of about 2/3 months to resolve the differences and pave way to find an undisputed president from amongst the Kukis or Non- Naga tribes. Unfortunately to the dismay of the federating units, as many as 3/4 candidates were shortlisted for candidature in the fray for the post of president. Till the last part of December 2011 no tangible result could be seen even after the dissolution of election commission.

After having had series of consultative meetings & assemblies at old Lambulane Imphal, a 5- member search committee inclusive of Naga & Non-Naga Tribes was constituted in an assembly hosted under the care-taker/speaker Emboi Serto in the early part of 2011 at Tampha conference hall to find an undisputed president of ATSUM. Having resolved by the Assembly to declare within a stipulated period of time, the search committee selflessly strive towards its goal of finding someone undisputed for the post but to the disappointment of the Tribal, the search committee also failed.

As the last resort, the General assembly on April 5th ,2012 at hotel Tampha, Imphal resolved to endorse the President of the five Hill Studentsí organisation ( constituent units of ATSUM) viz, Churachandpur District Studentsí Union (CDSU), Senapati District Studentsí Association (SDSA), Naga Studentsí Union Chandel (NSUC), Tangkhul Katamnao Saklong (TKS) Ukhrul and Zeliangrong Studentsí Union Manipur (ZSUM) Tamenglong to settle the crisis and bring back ATSUM to its vibrant self under the convenor ship of D.Stephen (Chairman ZSUM) among other resolution adopted in the assembly included expirary of the tenure of the care-taker of Emboi Serto henforth.

The august assembly was participated by all the constituent federating units of ATSUM including Senior leaders of ANSAM &KSO.

A panel meeting of ATSUM was convened subsequently on April 19th 2012 by the convenor of the five apex Hill Districts Studentsí Organisation at the office of ZSUM, Imphal. All the federating units Viz, CDSU, SDSA, NSUC, TKS & ZSUM were present with ANSAM delegates as observer. After a prolonged deliberation and analysis of the fragile social fabric of the Tribal, the presidential council resolved to allot the post district wise. To this end, Churachandpur District was allotted the post of president on the basis of the bulk of population of Kuki and Non- Naga Tribes. NSUC was given the post of Finance Secretary, ZSUM for the Speaker & the post of General Secretary and Vice President were kept for further deliberation.

After six months of rigorous consultation formally and informally with the federating units & senior leaders, an official letters was served to all the constituent federating units directing all concerned to accomplish the formal procedure of electing/ nominating the candidate based on the popular mandate of the parent organisation.

Consequent upon this, executive meeting of the CDSU dated 4th Sept 2012 unanimously resolved to nominate/ depute THANGJAMUAN TOMBING to be the undisputed president of ATSUM along with GINLALLIAN and HEMANG HAOKIP as representative to the ATSUM. As a follow up action of the previous meeting i.e on 19th April 2012, the plenary meeting of 25th October 2012 declared Mr. THANGJAMUAN TOMBING as the President of ATSUM, VAREIYO SHATSANG as the General Secretary ATSUM and Mr. MAJABUNG GANGMEI as speaker of assembly affairs ATSUM by a voice vote for the tenure 2012-2015. Declaration for the post of Finance Secretary and Vice President couldnít be done due to lack of popular mandate from its constituent parent organisation.

The matter was then duly forwarded to the care-taker for execution of Oath-Taking ceremony on or before November 2, 2012 on the condition that the convenor will administer the Oath Taking in case of the former failure to comply with the endorsement. Although the time extended for the care-taker/Speaker lapsed on 5th April 2012, one last occasion to administer an Oath of office for the newly executive council was given as a gesture of respect and also to have a graceful exit from the affairs of ATSUM.

Since the former care-taker fails to execute the Oath taking ceremony in spite of repeated reminders, the convenor as endorsed by the presidential council administered the Oath taking ceremony in a solemn function at Nightingale Hall on November 2nd 2012 in the presence of the federating units and well wishers.

Besides summarising the genesis of its formation, it is equally important for one and all to be fully aware of the fact that ANSAM and KSO do not constitute as a component of ATSUM.

ANSAM for the Nagas and KSO for the Kukis and for that matter the two communities based organisation should not be draged into controversy to serve the purpose of power mongers with ulterior motive to split & weaken the existing ATSUM.

It is indeed praise-worthy on the part of the presidential council of the five Hill District Studentsí Organisation under the nomenclature of Joint co-ordination Hills District Studentsí organisation (JCHDSO) by whose selfless efforts hastened the process of decentralization of TET Examination in all the Hill Districts of Manipur. Had there been no presidential council or JCHDSO under the charismatic leadership of the former Chairman ZSUM, the issue of TET would have been quite a different story.

(YANGMI KHAPAI)
President TKS

(KHENCHIN)
President CDSU

(KADIJANBOU)
Chairman ZSUM



* This was published at The Sangai Express on June 25 2013
This article was posted on June 28, 2013.



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