Biren urges COCOMI to lift Sangai boycott


Pothashang News Service: Imphal, November 27, 2019: Manipur chief minister N. Biren Singh has urged the Coordinating Committee on Manipur Integrity (COCOMI) to lift the boycott of Manipur Sangai Festival as the government has fulfilled their demands of calling state Assembly session and fixing an appointment with Union home minister Amit Shah.

Biren made the appeal in a press conference held at his secretariat on Wednesday.

He said people should not take Manipur Sangai Festival as just a simple event, which is organised for merrymaking and entertainment alone. The festival serves as an opportunity for the state to explore ways of boosting the economy. It is organised for the future of people of Manipur and it is not only a pride for Manipur but also a platform to promote the identity of the state to the world, he added.

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He said despite his busy schedules due to the ongoing Parliament session and political developments in Maharashtra and Jharkhand,  Amit Shah gave appointment for the meeting acknowledging the significance of the grievances and demands raised by the people of Manipur. During the meeting that lasted around one hour COCOMI leaders had the opportunity to apprise the Union Home Minister about all the grievances and apprehensions of Manipuri people due to the ongoing Indo-Naga peace talks, he added.

The Union home minister once again gave them a concrete assurance stating that the Centre would not do anything detrimental to Manipur’s interest in any manner in the process of bringing a final solution to the Naga peace process. Regarding COCOMI’s demand for a written assurance, the home minister told them that no such assurance had been given to anybody regarding any issue so far, the chief minister said and added that Amit Shah instead requested the COCOMI team to have trust in his commitment given in the presence of the chief minister, ministers and high ranking officials. The Union home minister also told them that the central government would call them again for consultation if anything, which appears to be going against the interest of Manipuri people, emerges during negotiations with the Nagas, the chief minister said.

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He said the winter session of Manipur Legislative Assembly would be convened by December 20. As both their demands had been fulfilled, COCOMI should also keep their words and lift the boycott without waiting till November 29 in the larger interest of the state, he added.

After the meeting with COCOMI representatives, Biren said, he had a separate discussion regarding Citizenship (Amendment) Bill as well with the Union home minister. During the meeting, Amit Shah informed him that the Centre is considering to insert a separate clause for the protection of indigenous people of the North East, the chief minister said.

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Stating that the present state government would never remain as a silent spectator when anything detrimental to the state’s interest and indigenous people happens, Biren urged the people to have trust in the government.


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