TODAY -

Govt sidelines Alternative Arrangement agenda during tripartite talk, UNC disappointed
Territorial integrity not negotiable : MHA team to UNC
Source: The Sangai Express

Senapati, February 12 2013: The fifth round of tripartite talk, involving the Centre, the State Government and the United Naga Council held today did not discuss the UNCs core demand�Alternative Arrangement (AA) for the Nagas in Manipur outside the State Government pending the Naga political settlement, leaving the Council peeved.

Reacting against the exclusion of AA during today's talk, UNC's general secretary Gaidon Kamei said the next round of talks should be political .

"If they (Government) happen to betray us during the next round of talks, we will go to the people and take their collective voice for taking up necessary measures.

We will continue to fight for our cause," Kamei told reporters after attending the tripartite talks.

L Adani, president of the UNC led a 9 member team of the Council at the talk held at the office of the Deputy Commissioner of Senapati.

S Jayaraman, Special Secretary (home), who headed a two-member Central team in the meeting, said the talks did not take a view on the Alternative Arrangement demand, though the matter was raised.



Fifth round of tripartite talk between the Central Govt, State Govt and United Naga Council at Senapati
Fifth round of tripartite talk between the Central Govt, State Govt and United Naga Council at Senapati
Pix-David Mayum


The meeting discussed at length the projects taken for all round development in the hills by the Government, he said.

The senior Central official, who said they would take up necessary steps to accelerate developmental projects in the hills, emphasized the need to hold more rounds of talks with 'more people' on both sides.

He was accompanied by Joint Secretary (Northeast �in-charge) of Home Affairs Shambhu Singh.

Manipur Chief Secretary DS Poonia , who led the State Government delegation in the meeting, said "territorial integrity is not negotiable and we are doing our best for the development of the hills" .

The other members of the State delegation included the Additional Chief Secretary (TA and Hills) and Principal Secretary (Home) .

The Government put forward various developmental plans for the hills � devolution of power to the Autonomous District Councils, NEC projects, infrastructure developments and enhancement of banking services etc, Poonia said adding that hard copies of such projects were given to the UNC delegation.

In a statement issued to the press later in the evening, the Home Department of the State Government stated that the MHA officials informed the UNC team that the demands raised in the last meeting at New Delhi on December 5, 2012, were under consideration while at the same time reiterating that the territorial integrity of Manipur is not negotiable.

On the demand raised by the UNC representatives that their demands be resolved, as they are political in nature, the MHA officials informed that the issues raised by the UNC will be taken up at the political level.

The Central and State Government representatives expressed willingness to discuss issues within the framework of the Constitution while at the same time reiterating that the territorial integrity of Manipur is not open for discussion, said the statement.

UNC delegation member KS Paul Leo, who is also the chairman of the committee on AA, said, "We are not satisfied and we are disappointed with the Government's response during today's talks ".

Since the UNC had already submitted its clear stand to the Centre during the fourth round of tripartite talks in New Delhi, the ball is now in the court of the Centre, Paul said.

Stating that Nagas resolved to sever political ties with the State Government during the Senapati Convention held on July 1, 2010 , Gaidon Kamei said that the total negligence of the hill people by the State Government since Manipur attained Statehood decades back has not been rectified.

Though UNC welcomes new developmental projects in the hills, its demand for an Alternative Arrangement for the Nagas stands unchanged as two persons cannot be forced to live in a room meant for a single person, he said.

"We are not against any community.

We don't want to fight but we want to become good neighbours with them ( other communities)," Kamei said.

Incidentally the UNC leaders greeted the Government emissaries with three words 'Welcome to Nagalim' before the talks began around 11 am under heavy security cover.


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