TODAY -

Demands for TC, autonomous region not legitimate: UCM
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, May 26 2020: The United Committee Manipur (UCM) has categorically stated that neither the Kukis' demand for territorial council nor the Nagas' demand for autonomous region are legitimate.

Even as the people of Manipur were anguished by the reports of presence of NSCN-IM camps within the territory of Manipur, KNO/KNA defence secretary Thongsei Haokip was talking about an exclusive territorial council for Kukis on the occasion of KNF's 33rd raising day (May 18) .

The demand for territorial council is unacceptable to the people of Manipur and if the Government of India attempts to create any such territorial council, it would be opposed tooth and nail.

In view of the communally-charged statements issued to media by some segments of the society during the last couple of days, the UCM, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, is constrained to remind all the people of the State that any ethno-centric policy or aspiration which is not based on the collective and common socio-economic and political agenda of the whole State will not last long and will ultimately end in failure.

Kangleipak (Manipur) is a country whose history and civilization are more than 3000 years old and its sovereignty was protected by all the communities collectively with their own sweat and blood, the UCM asserted in a statement.

It's time to re-think and give up the idea of disintegrating Manipur which was built up over a period of thousands of years as trophies of the militant movements which are respectively just 72 years and 33 years old, it said.

Saying that people of Manipur should never fall in the trap laid by outsiders, the UCM called upon all the people to join hands and identify all black sheep.

All the people who are ever ready to sacrifice even lives to protect the integrity of Manipur should keep a close watch on such people.

As testified by the Great June Uprising of 2001 which was directed against the then incumbent Government and the then political leaders, people of Manipur will never tolerate any communal policy or arrangement.

Rattled by the spontaneous mass movement, the then Indian Prime Minister declared that the ceasefire agreement signed between the Government of India and NSCN-IM would be confined to the State of Nagaland and it would not be effective within the territory of Manipur.

People kept full faith in the Indian Prime Minister but today UCM as well as all the people committed to the idea of united Manipur would like to know under what understanding the NSCN-IM is allowed to open their camps within the territory of Manipur.

Following media reports about NSCN-IM cadres operating within the territory of Manipur in total contravention of the ceasefire ground rules, the State Government wrote to the Government of India seeking a detailed report.

However, the Government of India and its officials who have been dealing with the NSCN-IM directly have not yet bothered to give any explanation till date.

Such irresponsible attitude of the Government of India has been only fanning people's anguish and wrath, it said.

The demands for separate territory, separate political set-up etc are machinations of some leaders and there is very little for the UCM to resent such demands.

However, if the Government of India has been trying to appease the advocates of such weird demands with the sole objective of resolving Naga militancy, it will only ignite a much bigger issue.

If the Government of India adopts any anti-people decision, it should bear full responsibility for its repercussions and ramifications, the UCM warned.

If the Government of India chooses to ignore the assurance it gave on July 27, 2001 and betray the people of Manipur, a deep distrust would creep up among the people of Manipur and it would be very difficult to restore mutual trust among the communities, it continued.

It then asserted that the Government of India is duty-bound to keep its own words.

It reminded that late Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee told a meeting of Chief Ministers of North Eastern States at New Delhi on July 27, 2001 that the words 'without territorial limits' would be deleted from the agreement reached between the Centre and NSCN-IM on June 14, 2001 and the status quo ante June 14 would be restored.

During a public meeting held at Imphal on February 25, 2017, Prime Minister Narendra Modi stated that the Centre's peace talk with the Nagas will not hurt the interest of Manipur and there is not a single word in the Naga Accord that is detrimental to the interest of Manipur and its people.

On January 4, 2019, Prime Minister Narendra Modi stated at Imphal that Framework Agreement will not hurt the sentiments of the Manipuri people.

"Framework Agreement will not affect territorial integrity, the administrative integrity or cultural integrity of Manipur", the UCM again quoted Prime Minister Narendra Modi from his speech given at Imphal on April 7, 2019 .

All concerned should think twice about people's possible reactions in case the Government of India commits the folly of betraying all these assurances, it said.

The UCM then appealed to all community leaders to think and work in the interest of the whole State and all her people.

"It is the ethno-centric outlook and politics which make us incapable of imagining a common future.

When we are caught in internal conflicts driven by communal concepts, we will find ourselves surrounded by adversary forces", it said.

The UCM is always open to the idea of working collectively with all communities for a common future of a united Manipur, it added.


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