TODAY -

Leaders must take firm stand, says Ibobi
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, November 30 2023: Former Chief Minister Okram Ibobi has asserted that contemporary leaders of Manipur must take firm positions in the interest of the State.

Speaking at a commemorative function of the 77th anniversary of the formation of United Front in 1947 held at MDU Hall here today under the aegis of CPI Manipur State Council, O Ibobi said that the violent crisis which erupted on May 3, 2023 has evoked a very serious question on the future of Manipur.

Manipur which was once a sovereign kingdom was merged into the Indian Union in 1949 and periodic elections to elect people's representatives were held under the Indian Constitution since 1950, he said.

At an unveiling ceremony of a statue of Subhash Chandra Bose, former Chief Minister Mairenbam Koireng, better known as Moirang Koireng, boldly declared that Manipur would stay together with India if the Government of India's vision was clear and acceptable to the people of Manipur otherwise Manipur would decide its own future, Ibobi recalled.

Likewise, contemporary leaders need to take firm positions on the future of Manipur, he said.

Though Manipur is a small State, it is a common home of 34/35 different ethnic groups, he said.

He then asked how Manipur could march on the path of development if there is no trust or peace among the ethnic communities.

Ibobi asked, "What will be the future of Manipur if there is no peace?" .

The resolutions adopted by the United Front formed in 1947 under the leadership of Hijam Irabot vividly reflected that the integrity of Manipur and the sanctity of its territorial boundary were non-negotiable, Ibobi said.

He asserted that Manipur does not belong to any single ethnic community exclusively but it is a common home of all the ethnic groups settled within its geographical boundary.

He appealed to all sections of people to uphold and promote Hijam Irabot's idea that the hills and the valley are inseparable parts of a common entity called Manipur.

"If there are grievances, we can always talk and explore solutions peacefully", the former Chief Minister said.

Government and leaders will come and go.

Even if preceding Governments committed mistakes, the same should be rectified by the incumbent Government.

It is not the time to engage in blame games, Ibobi said.

"The current situation demands all of us to sit together and explore all possible options to restore peace in the State.

The 10 like minded political parties are prepared to extend all possible assistance, if required", he said.

The State Government cannot be left alone to face the current crisis.

The Centre must take equal responsibility to tackle all unlawful activities like smuggling of drugs and cultivation of poppy, Ibobi said.

Construction of border fence along the Indo-Myanmar boundary is not within the State Government's capacity.

The Centre must take responsibility for such tasks, he said.

Indigenous People Forum Manipur president Ashang Kasar asserted that all the people need to re-visit the vision of popular leader Hijam Irabot.

"Following the footsteps of Lamyanba Irabot, all of us must promote harmony and work collectively to take Manipur on a higher trajectory of development", Ashang Kasar said.

Among others, CPI control commission chairman L Iboyaima, CPI control commission member Dr M Nara, Mao Union president Puni Losii, Dr Hira Kabui of the Kabui Union and Raeese Ahmed of the United Meitei Pangal Committee were also present at the commemorative function.


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