No demarcation of Manipur on ethnic line: AMUCO president

STAFF REPORTER IMPHAL, 28th Oct: No council or administrative body which would demarcate indigenous communities of Manipur on ethnic line should be formed when the peace talk between NSCN (IM) and Government of India reach its logical conclusion.

This was stated by All Manipur United Clubs’ Organisation (AMUCO) president Ph Deban during the first death anniversary observance of Thounaojam Iboyaima at Nupi Lal complex hall, wherein a memorial lecture on the late social worker was conducted.

According to Deban, the peace talk between NSCM-IM and government of India is in the final stage and a resolution is likely very soon. However, details of the Framework Agreement signed on August 3, 2015 are yet to be revealed and both India government and NSCN (IM) are awaiting an opportune moment to ink the final agreement, he said adding that consequences of such an agreement still remain uncertain.

While asserting that AMUCO will never remain silent if the peace talk affects Manipur, Deban maintained that whatever agreement has been signed between the two parties should be confined to present Nagaland state only.

For the welfare of different tribal communities, Manipur has its own Autonomous District Council and welfare of tribal communities could be taken up with due consultation of state government and India government. AMUCO and the people of Manipur will stand steadfastly against the reported proposal of forming a United Council for Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram and Assam, he said.

Pointing out that the history of Manipur and Nagaland are different, Deban said AMUCO will never accept formation of North East Council or North East Cultural Council which would make demarcation on ethnic line or sow seed of hatred amongst different communities of the region.

He also recounted that Thounaojam Iboyaima worked as functionaries of different civil society organisations including Irabot Foundation Manipur during his life time. For nearly 100 years, Iboyaima visited every nook and corner of Manipur including hills and inspired scores of youth towards causes of Manipur.

Iboyaima also took active role in the movement for repealing AFSPA from Manipur as well as to bring unity among the people of hills and valley, the AMUCO president said.

He observed that organising the memorial lecture would help CSOs and intellectuals to discuss thoughts of the late leader who was honoured with the title of ‘father of social work’.

While observing that Th Iboyaima and Hijam Irabot had same patriotic trait, Deban said Iboyaima began taking up social work after his meeting with the legendary revolutionary leader in Cachar. During his tenure as president of Irabot Foundation Manipur, Iboyaima worked tirelessly for preserving paddy fields of Manipur so that the state could be self-sufficient in food. The mammoth rally in Imphal on August 1, 1997 against the sinister plot to divide Manipur under the pretext of peace talk between NSCN(IM) and India government was flagged off by Th Iboyaima and the late social worker during the time opined that peace talk between government and any underground group should not pose a challenge to the unity and integrity of Manipur.

The memorial lecture was organised by Pabung Iboyaima Memorial Trust on the topic ‘Views and Thoughts of Pabung Iboyaima’.

The event was also attended by Poirei Leimarol Meira Paibi Apunba Manipur president L Memchoubi, Zeliangrong Union (AMN) president Amu Kamei, Kuki Inpi Manipur president Thangkhosei Haokip and All Manipur Muslim Development Organisation president DP Sahid Ahamad.

Meanwhile, Educational Guide Centre (EGC), Singjamei observed the first death anniversary of Th Iboyaima at its office complex on Saturday.

National awardee H Ibotombi Khuman and former principal of Manipur College L Sadananda Singh attended as presidium members of the observance which was marked with offering of floral tributes to the late social worker.

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