Meet seeks constitution rejig to protect state

Among a slew of resolutions adopted in a public meet convened on Saturday at Lamyanba Shanglen, Palace Compound in the aftermath of threat posed to the territorial integrity of Manipur vis-à-vis Naga peace talks, it has been unanimously decided to propose for mandatory inclusion of a clause on ‘state ratification’ in case the Parliament intends to invoke Article 3 in Manipur.

Those present at the open dialogue on ‘possible outcomes of the framework agreement in the context of Manipur’ were also unanimous in demanding that the Parliament to amend Article 371(C) and insert specific provisions related to upholding the political, historical and social identity of pre-merger Manipur as well as to ensure that the Union government does not take any decision that could affect Manipur without the prior and informed consent of the state assembly.

The demand that the territorial and emotional integrity should not be affected under any circumstances in the pursuit for resolving the Naga political issue or by the signing of the framework agreement between the Centre and the NSCN-IM was also re-adopted at the meet, which was attended by representatives of different civil society and students' organisations.

Another resolution was that the Union government should refrain from any formal process for enacting new legislations detrimental to interest of people of Manipur or likely to affect the state’s administration.

It further resolved to prevail upon Centre not to cede to any demand of the NSCN-IM such as formation of Pan Naga administration; cultural, provincial and territorial council; financial autonomy or ethnic administrative division.

The dialogue jointly organised by All Manipur United Clubs’ Organisation (AMUCO), Committee of Civil Societies Kangleipak (CSSK) and United Committee Manipur (UCM) further resolved to put forth a political proposal to the Centre for outright rejection of any demand having potential to strain the age-old fraternal bond among the ethnic communities.

Prof N Joykumar of Manipur University, who moderated the session, observed that the protracted talks being held with the NSCN-IM and subsequent signing of the framework agreement is unlikely to end without appeasing the rebel outfit.

He also contended that on account of Manipur having greatest number of intellectuals among the north-eastern states and individuals who are excellent in diverse fields it is obvious that the Centre will not relent from devising various mechanisms to suppress the state and its people.

Hence, pending final outcome of the agreement and uncertain over how the Naga political issue would be settled, people of Manipur need to remain united and alert.
Speaking on the occasion, UCM president Elangbam Johnson, while pointing out that the open dialogue was convened to solicit views of all concerned and hold threadbare discussion on the apprehension over the Naga peace process and signing of the framework agreement, also agreed with Prof Joykumar that some significant development in the region is inevitable.

Opining that the demand raised by some organisations for separation of eastern Nagaland areas from the parent state some years back was specifically on the ground that NSCN-IM does not represent the entire Naga populace, he also stated that the past differences within the Naga society might have subsided after the Centre’s interlocutor in the Naga peace talks held consultations with different Naga leaders and organisations at Dimapur recently.

Cautioning the Centre against taking any decision detrimental to the interest of Manipur and its people, Johnson stated that the people of Manipur need to work collectively for changing the perception and attitude of the Centre and the NSCN-IM towards Manipur.

In his address, AMUCO president Ph Deban questioned the Centre’s perception that holding talks with NSCN-IM alone will solve the insurgency issue in the north-east region, including Manipur.

Though the on-going peace parleys is intended to usher in peace in specific part of the region resorting to appeasement or divide and rule policy will only create more chaos in the region, he contended, while asserting that under no circumstance should the Centre undermine aspiration of the people of Manipur and take decision against their collective will.
On the other-hand, CSSK president Jitendra Ningomba stated that a great injustice would be done in case the history of Manipur is distorted in the pursuit of appeasing certain communities or groups.

While expressing awe over the claim that Central government has recognised unique history of the Nagas, he wondered on what ground or criteria is the uniqueness based on.
Further stating that it would be a greatest historical blunder on the part of the Government of India in case it fails to acknowledge history of Manipur, Jitendra called upon the Central leaders to cease all process that could disturb harmonious existence of all ethnic groups in Manipur.


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