TODAY -

UNLF calls for upholding unity, integrity
Source: Chronicle News Service

Imphal, February 08 2024: The Pambei-led United National Liberation Front (UNLF), while greeting the people on the occasion of the 37th Raising Day of its armed wing Manipur People's Army (MPA) on February 9, has called for upholding unity and integrity of Manipur while shunning the idea of separate administration and defy influence of foreign hands.

In a message to the people, UNLF's Military Affairs Committee (MAC) acting chairman M Nong-yai extended revolutionary salute to leaders, cadres, MPA officers, NCOs and privates, who sacrificed their lives in the movement.

It also extended greetings to the cadres working under the leadership of the Front, as well as those killed, injured and fighting the ongoing conflict between Meitei and Kuki-Chin-Zo for their contributions.

Recalling the history of UNLF, the statement said that they felt the need for an armed unit in 1967 and formed the first armed wing called People's Liberation Army (PLA) with late Nongmaithem Pahari as the chief of army staff and Azaipu from Kabui community as the vice-chief of army staff.

However, they felt that setting up an armed wing was too early at that time and dissolved the same.

Afterward, they focused on an "unarmed propaganda" consolidating a generation of youths, who want to regain the lost freedom.

After several years, the general assembly of the Front took a resolution to form an armed wing on December 06, 1996, and Manipur People's Army (MPA) was constituted by the Central Committee on February 9, 1987.The first batch of basic military training was held in the erstwhile Tonu village of Eastern Naga land, Myanmar.

The armed wing had no weapons at that time and was equipped with ideological weapons, which was led by the idea of "Political thought is more im portant than military action".

The training manual of MPA was compiled by the then general secretary Sanayaima, who assumed the charge of chairman from 1998.The MPA is governed by the Military Affairs Committee (MAC) as per the Constitution of UNLF.

The Constitution of MPA was adopted on August 23, 1994 after approval by the Central Committee, which defines "Ideal as 'sacrifice with bravery', Duty as 'fighting with enemies of the nation', and Responsibility as 'fighting for liberation of people and protection of public lives and properties'.

Moral and discipline are crucial and every members of the Front and MPA should uphold these principles while understanding the difference between personal and public interest.

MPA was formed not only for fighting with the enemy, which means it is not just a bourgeois army.

It also involves establishing good relations with the people, spread the message of revolution, conduct research on the living standards of the people, garner public support in the freedom struggle and encourage people to take up arms.

Since the 1990s, the party has been engaged in setting up bases for freedom struggle in valley as well as hill areas of Manipur, which attained significant success up to a time.

The fights between Indian Army and MPA in Churachandpur and Chandel district areas in the early 2020s were new experiences in the GOI's counter-insurgency operation history.

The fights had characteristics of guerrilla warfare and conventional war.

On the other hand, MPA established good relations with fellow revolutionary organisations of WESEA in the United Base area, located in Eastern Nagaland, Sagaing Division in Myanmar, the base of NSCN, and took key role in bringing positive changes in healthcare, school education, agriculture and lifestyle in the surrounding areas.

Today, extremists of Kuki-Chin-Zo community are waging war against the territory of Manipur with the aim to annihilate Meitei community since May 3 last year.

Currently in its 10th month, the conflict has no end in sight.

It would not be right to say that all the people of Kuki-Chin-Zo community sup-ports the conflict as UNLF strongly believes that there are still thousands of civilians, who are against their policy.

There had been several MPA members from Kuki community, and many had sacrificed their lives, which the party still remembers.

There was a time when MPA armies felt like home when reaching a Kuki village, seeing the warm welcome by the Kuki people and their hospitality.

In fact, former vice-president Thangkhopao Singsit was a major contributor in founding and expanding the party.

(To be continued) .


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