World Watch


Manipuris hold peace rally
in the US
Washington, Sep 18: Participants at a peace rally held by a prominent organisation representing the Zo ethnic community in Manipur in front of the Indian embassy here have voiced solidarity with their fellow brethren in the state who have been adversely affected by the ongoing ethnic violence. The rally organised by Zomi Innkuan USA in front of the Embassy of India in Washington DC last week expressed the participants’ unwavering solidarity with the Zomi-Kuki people hit by the crisis in Manipur for more than 120 days, the organisation said in a statement. More than 180 people have been killed and several hundred injured since ethnic violence broke out in Manipur on May 3, when a ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ was organised in the hill districts to protest against the majority Meitei community’s demand for Scheduled Tribe status. The violence has inflicted untold suffering on the residents of Manipur and the state government’s actions, particularly against the minority Zomi-Kuki tribes, have caused great pain and division in the region, the statement alleged. The rally, attended by members of the Zomi community in the US and other supporters, aimed to shed light on the urgent need for a lasting solution to the conflict in Manipur, the statement added. Demonstrators held placards bearing messages that reflected the plight of the Zo ethnic people and their earnest plea for a separate administration in Manipur Dr. Hauzachin Suante, Executive Director of Zomi Innkuan, in his address, said: “Our land, our rights, our freedom – these are not mere slogans but the very heartbeat of our struggle.” Suante said the separate administrative unit for the Zo tribe was “not only our demand but also our hope for a better future”. (PTI)


prisoner swap
in motion
Dubai, Sep 18: Iran and the United States will exchange prisoners on Monday after nearly USD 6 billion in once-frozen Iranian assets reached Qatar, a key element of the planned swap, officials said. Despite the deal, tensions are almost certain to remain high between the US and Iran, which are locked in various disputes, including over Tehran’s nuclear program. Iran says the program is peaceful, but it now enriches uranium closer than ever to weapons-grade levels. Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani was the first to acknowledge the swap would take place Monday. He said the cash sought for the exchange that had been held by South Korea was now in Qatar. An individual with direct knowledge of the deal, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity given the exchange had yet to be concluded, later said that both Iranian and US officials had been notified by Qatar that the money had been transferred to the Gulf Arab nation, which serves as a go-between for the US and Iran. Kanaani made his comments during a news conference aired on state television, but the feed cut immediately after his remarks. (AP)


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