STAFF REPORTER IMPHAL, 12th Feb:
Even as works minister Th Biswajit called upon the civil society organisations to continue working for bridging the trust deficit amongst the ethnic communities settling in Manipur, All Manipur United Clubs’ Organisation (AMUCO) president Ph Deban Sharma observed that amending the existing policy of separate zones for settlement on the basis of tribe-community denomination would help promote harmonious co-existence.
Speaking as chief guest of the silver jubilee celebration of AMUCO on Monday, minister Biswajit pointed out that the government’s role in cementing fraternal bond among the ethnic communities is technically limited to undertaking developmental works in order to dilute the misgivings against the government.
Minister Biswajit said that along with discarding the concept of pursuing community or tribe specific goals, time has come for all community leaders and public figures to work for restoring the age-old relationship and extend cooperation to the government’s endeavour for bringing uniform development.
Noting that almost all active civil society organisations have been working for realisation of the goals of peace and development in the state, he cautioned that pursuing community specific goals will only embolden forces inimical to interest of Manipur and its people to create social divide.
The celebration began at the Kwakeithel Akham Leikai office of AMUCO where president Deban unfurled the organisation flag and dignitaries present unveiled a silver jubilee plaque followed by launching of a website www.amuco.in
The main function was, however, organised at Manipur State Film Development Society (MSFDS) auditorium, Palace Compound wherein representatives of different civil societies and invitees shared their views on the past and present day Manipur.
Delivering the address as functional president, Ph Deban stressed the need for all sections of the society to remain on top vigil in order to foil continuous bids by adverse elements to disintegrate Manipur.
Alleging that under the garb of countering insurgents, the Central government has been clandestinely working to create division on the lines of ethnicity, he noted with regret that Manipur’s history as a land of harmonious coexistence suffered a serious dent with the Kuki-Naga clash whixh was erupted in early 1990s.
While recounting that AMUCO took up the responsibility of playing the mediator’s role in easing tension between the two major ethnic communities of Manipur with the aim to uphold emotional integrity among the indigenes, Deban mooted that the sense of belongingness and camaraderie could be further strengthened in case the government scraps the policy of pursuing different land laws in the valley and the hills.
Similar to the valley areas open for settlement of all communities, the hill districts may also be made accessible to non-tribal people in case he/she wishes to live in the hills, he said, adding that co-existence is one of the means for ending the sense of alienation and community enmity.
Expressing resentment over state politicians’ lack of sincerity and commitment to promote emotional unity among the masses, Deban said Manipur needs leaders like Hijam Irabot and Yangmasho Shaiza to unite the people and guide them towards materialisation of the collective aspiration for social harmony and development.
Apart from former office bearers of AMUCO, the silver jubilee celebration was also attended by former minister RV Mingthing, Kuki Inpi Manipur advisor Thangkhosei Haokip, Zeliangrong Union (Assam, Manipur & Nagaland) president Amu Kamei, Integrated Manipuri Association (Bangladesh) secretary general Hiranmoy Singha, joint editor of Agartala-based Marup (Manipuri newspaper) RK Tarunjit Singh, Mao Union president K Sani Mao, Hao Mee Research Guild vice chairman S Robin Tangkhul, Aimol Tribe Union (Manipur) president RT Akhei Aimol, Purum Tribe Cultural Troupe and Literature Committee chairman Momsakam Bapui, Poirei Leimarol Apunba Manipur president L Memchoubi, Koren (Koireng) Youth Organisation president Z Chungsek Koireng, All Manipur Muslim Development Organisation president DP Sahid Ahamad and Manipuri Cultural Society (Hojai, Assam) president L Gulap.