Thursday, June 20, 2024
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UNC concerned over slow progress of Indo-Naga talks

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IMPHAL: The United Naga Council (UNC) in a memorandum to Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh has expressed its concern over the slow process of Indo-Naga peace talks.

The UNC said it was much concern that even after fourteen long years of cease-fire and negotiation, an acceptable settlement to the Indo-Naga issue has not been brought about nor any concrete steps been taken towards it.

“It may also kindly be recalled that our memorandum on the captioned subject was submitted to your good office through the Hon’ble Union Home Minister on the 14th of September, 2010 at Delhi. As you are aware, acting on the said memorandum, the Hon’ble Home Minister had initiated the democratic process of dialogue through the tripartite talk of the GoI, the Government of Manipur(GoM) and the United Naga Council(UNC) and there has already been 3 rounds of talks. Unfortunately, the tripartite talks, apart from being subjected to the convenience of the GoM, have by design been limited to the technicality of centre and state jurisdiction/prerogatives and highlighting the development initiatives of the Government of Manipur for the tribals areas in the State of Manipur, when the ground reality harshly speak otherwise. The process has not taken up the core issue of demand for alternative arrangement for the Nagas in Manipur, outside the Government of Manipur pending settlement of the Indo-Naga issue as it should,” the UNC memorandum said.

The sharp social divide on communal lines which your good self had noted with concern in the 40th conference of DGPs on August 26, 2010 which was created by unmistakable facts of years and years of suppression, subjugation and hegemonic domination of the Nagas and tribals by “the communal Government of Manipur backed by the dominant community” is the core issue on which we base our demand for an alternative arrangement, the Naga body alleged.

According to the UNC, records and statistics of administrative nature have been poured over the table to dilute the core issue of social divide and the impossible conditions in which Nagas exist under the “communal Government of Manipur”, unable to live with dignity and honour and have their land, traditional institutions, culture and way of life protected. The structure of domination put into place over the years and the structural violence of suppression and exploitation of the Nagas and the tribals in Manipur by the communal GoM is the issue. Through legitimately established sanctions, the rights of the Nagas and the tribals in Manipur are being surely and irredeemably taken away. “Our position is based on our rights which are basic and fundamental to dignity, honour and respect of our identity. Our genuine demands for an alternative political and administrative arrangement is being objected to because of interest of the dominant and communal Government of Manipur,” the UNC said.

The Naga also draws the attention to the grave potential for communal confrontations and violence which could flare up at the slightest provocations, intentional or perceived as such by any community. “It is our contention that if the GoI is serious and sincere in ensuring that the Nagas and tribals in Manipur should live with dignity and honour; with respect for their dignity and their rights to land; their traditional institutions, culture and way of life honoured and not as second class citizens; it is indeed time for intervention of the GoI. Should the GoI plead helplessness citing the technicality of centre state relationship, then it condemns the Nagas and the tribals to continued deprivation and suppression”, it added. (NNN)

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