Civil society organisations ask clarification from Prime Minister on Ravi’s statement
Pothashang News Service: Imphal, May 17, 2018: United Committee Manipur, Community of Civil Societies Kangleipak and All Manipur United Clubs Organisation has demanded immediate clarification on the statement of R. N. Ravi, interlocutor of the government of India and NSCN-IM peace process ‘for having caused enormous threat to the emotional and territorial integrity of Manipur as reported in The Indian Express on April 26.
Ten representatives of the three civil society organisations today submitted a memorandum to Prime Minister Narendra Modi through Manipur chief minister Nongthombam Biren Singh.
Before submitting the memorandum the civil society organisations organised a demonstration rally at Keishampat Imphal and later proceed towards the chief minister’s office to submit the memorandum.
The memorandum state that on behalf of the historically co-existing communities in Manipur draw your good office’s attention to the apprehensions and fear of the people in Manipur caused by the ongoing peace process between the government of India and National Socialist Council of Nagaland – lssac-Muivah (NSCN-IM). The people of Manipur mainly the communities and the civil society collectives have been much dismayed by the frequent reportage of the statement made by Indian officials that are tantamount to affect the harmony amongst the communities and the territorial integrity of Manipur. R.N. Ravi, the interlocutor of peace process, in his latest statement, once again comes as a threat to the harmony and integrity of’ Manipur. The proposal of’ an ‘Autonomous Naga Territorial Council for Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur’ a system of Paramountcy of the Manipur government and a policy to protect the valley of Manipur’ as reported in the media have caused enormous anxiety amongst the people. Therefore, the responsibility lies with the government of India including the slate government of Manipur to come out with a clarification on the statement issued by the interlocutor. The civil society collectives in Manipur consider the statement as a violation of the assurances made by the GOI and the Prime Minister to people of Manipur in several occasions.
The hitherto submitted memoranda, representations and appraisals to GOl by the civil society collectives and concerned citizens have time and again re-iterated the non-negotiability on any mater relating to the territorial integrity, historical and political status, economic and cultural moorings or Manipur. Any unilateral design to engage political and cultural issues in the North East from a communal perspective is to undermine the pluralistic, multi-cultural and geo-economic balance in North East India. Once again we remind the GOI and the Prime Minister to immediately restrain R.N. Ravi from issuing any such provocative press statements. It is high time that GOI deter the interlocutor from frequently indulging into such policy antics. Since the inception of the NSCN-IM led peace process in 1997, the people of North East particularly in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur have been bearing the brunt of the much illusive Naga peace process, said in the memorandum.
The CSOs apprised the government to deter R. N. Ravi ‘from making provocative and insensitive statements in media in future that is to affect the peace and tranquillity in the North East’.
The CSOs also reiterate the position to oppose any proposal of creating “Autonomous Naga Territorial Council” for Arunachal and Manipur. The proposal for an Ethnic Territorial Council and a Naga Cultural Body is contra venous to the historic status of Manipur and social-economic moorings in the region. The civil society collective opposes any move to create a state within state and bifurcation of Manipur into ethnic and cultural administrative zones.
The memorandum has also mentioned five other points urging to realise the sentiments of the people on any threat to the social and territorial integrity of Manipur.
President of United Committee Manipur, Sunil Karam said, “The Prime minister and BJP leaders had said there is nothing inside the framework agreement that would hurt the sentiment of the Manipur people. The statement made by the interlocutor will set Manipur into fire. People of Manipur should not be mocked on this issue; many are ready to sacrifice for the state”.
“Instead of bringing peace in North East, for which the peace talk was initiated, Ravi’s statement to conclude it for the sake of a community will create Chaos in Manipur”, said president of All Manipur United Clubs Organisation, Ph. Devan.