Govt-formed panel member clueless on role in Naga talks

STAFF REPORTER IMPHAL, 24th Oct: Though the state government appointed former Chief Minister of Manipur Radhabinod Koijam and retired lieutenant general Konsam Himalay as members of the consultative committee of Manipur over the ongoing peace talks between Centre and NSCN-IM, the committee has sought details from Chief Minister N Biren over their exact role and responsibilities.

In an exclusive interview, Radhabinod Koijam told The People’s Chronicle that he has not received any official order from the government regarding his appointment as a member of the consultative committee though he came across the report in local media. Consequently, he and retired lieutenant general Konsam Himalay met Chief Minister N Biren and additional chief secretary J Suresh Babu on October 22 regarding the committee’s roles and responsibilities.

However, during the meeting, they stressed the need for defining the roles and responsibilities of the committee since Manipur is in a volatile situation and any actions of the committee could go haywire and create misunderstanding if the outcome does not suit the public aspiration. The CM also assured them to finalise the matter at the earliest, Radhabinod divulged.

Since times immemorial, tasks of messengers are full of implications, he said while adding that he is worried if their initiatives would be accepted by the public in case of bad news. However, their major role is to take messages to and fro between the state government and Centre. Despite the delicate situation of the issue and the hot spot they are in, he is happy to play a major role in the issue, the former CM added.

Regarding his request to the CM, RB Koijam, as he is fondly referred to, informed that he has urged the CM to keep aside the difference of political ideologies and discuss the matter jointly with all political parties in the state.

He also urged the CM to discuss the matter with CSOs and seek their suggestions and opinions. At the same time, CSOs should intimate the government about its memorandum to RN Ravi over the matter, he said.

Radhabinod further informed that as members of the consultative meeting, they would like to present the stand and aspirations of the state, which is taken jointly by the government, political parties and CSOs of different communities. He also urged Chief Minister Biren to meet the Prime Minister, the Union Home Minister and other key leaders along with representatives of all political parties.

The former CM conveyed that Chief Minister N Biren seems to be genuinely concerned about the matter.

He also appealed to the people of Manipur to give up personal or communal differences, join hands and cooperate with the government and the committee to bring the desired outcome in a peaceful way.


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