STAFF REPORTER IMPHAL, 2nd Dec:
Exerting pressure upon the Central government leaders for maintaining status quo of the state’s territorial boundary and collectively carry out extensive campaigns to oppose all moves by the Centre to redraw the map of Manipur were among the resolutions adopted at a discussion session attended by leaders of civil society organisations and political organisations.
The session jointly initiated by United Committee Manipur (UCM), All Manipur United Clubs’ Organisation (AMUCO) and Committee of Civil Societies Kangleipak (CCSK) in the backdrop of apprehension over possible distortion of Manipur’s territorial boundary in trying to resolve the Naga political issue was held on Saturday at Manipur Press Club here.
Attended by representatives of different CSOs and political organisations active in the state, the meet resolved for cohesion amongst the political parties, CSOs and stakeholders concerned in launching public movement against any plot to balkanise Manipur; endorsed resolutions of the November 18 open dialogue held at Lamyanba Shanglen; and to depute individual as well as joint political delegations to prevail upon the Central leaders not to create divisions in Manipur on the lines of ethnicity under the garb of settling the Naga issue.
Speaking on the occasion, UCM president Elangbam Johnson highlighted that the session was convened to arrive at a consensus between the CSOs and political parties, sustain the campaign for protecting the state’s territory through close coordination and give more weightage to the pressing issues at hand.
While highlighting that in-spite of having different ambition and ideologies the evolving political scenario and social situation arising out of non-disclosure of contents of the framework agreement merit collective effort to achieve the common goal of keeping Manipur’s history and territory intact, he also urged the participants to ensure the resolutions adopted on Saturday are upheld in their true spirit and action.
Apart from UCM, AMUCO and CCSK functionaries, representatives of sister organisations of three CSOs and other stakeholders were also present at the discussion session.
Among political parties, representatives of INC, BJP, NPP, CPI, CPI-M, JD(U), LJP, NCP, Trinamool Congress and Shiv Sena shared their views on the issue during the meeting which lasted for nearly six hours.
The meeting also resolved to submit memorandums to the Prime Minister as well as to other Central and state leaders enumerating resolutions taken at the November 18 ‘one day open dialogue’.
Among others the memorandum urged the Prime Minister to ensure that the framework agreement does not disturb and interfere in the unity and territorial integrity of Manipur under any circumstances.
No final decision should be arrived at with regard to the framework agreement; in case geographical boundary of the north-eastern states, including Manipur are to be affected, without the prior sanction and approval of the state governments and the people concerned, the memo mentioned.
It also categorically objected to the demand raised by the NSCN-IM for integrating the Naga inhabited areas, formation of Pan Naga Cultural Provincial/territorial council or any arrangement relating to financial autonomy or ethnic-based administrative arrangement.
Another point mentioned in the memorandum included the demand for making ‘state ratification’ mandatory in case the Parliament of India tries to invoke Article 3 of the Constitution in Manipur.
It further prevailed upon the leaders concerned to ensure that all the pre-existing features such as its political, historical and social identities before Manipur joined the Indian Union are honoured and preserved. ‘Any attempt to change or interference into these pre-existing features by the Government of India shall be only after the approval of Manipur state legislative assembly and this shall be made affected as special provisions with necessary amendment of the Constitution of India within Article 371(C)’.
Copies of the said memorandum were also addressed to Union home minister Rajnath Singh, leader of the opposition in Lok Sabha Sonia Gandhi, Manipur chief minister N Biren, interlocutor of the Naga peace talks RN Ravi and leader of the opposition of Manipur Legislative Assembly O Ibobi Singh.