Centre must refrain from divisive politics: Sunil Karam
IMPHAL, 18th Jun: The 19th Great June Uprising/Unity Day was observed by the Great June Uprising/Unity Day Observation Committee, a joint body of All Manipur United Clubs' Organisation (AMUCO) and United Committee Manipur (UCM) at Kekrupat here on Thursday.
As part of the observance, which was held with strict adherence to social distancing norms, Committee members, families of the martyrs, surviving victims and representatives of various CSOs paid floral tributes to the portraits of the martyrs.
Speaking on the occasion as one of the presidium members, Committee chairman and UCM president Sunil Karam recalled that 18 people lost their lives while trying to defend the territorial integrity of the state after the phrase ‘without territorial limit’ was incorporated in the ceasefire agreement signed between the NSCN (IM) and the government of India in 2001.
“Politicians should be careful of their actions. The people are not as dumb as they are made out to be. The leaders must understand that the people would always stand against any attempt to disturb the state’s unity, as has been shown over the last 19 years”, Sunil said.
Stressing the need for bilateral engagements between communities to resolve any misunderstanding instead of involving a third party, the chairman urged politicians to work in the interests of the state and its people, while also understanding how various fallacious actions led to the incident of June 18, 2001.
Sunil then appealed to the various communities of the state to unite and stand against the divisive policies of the Indian government, which he claimed has failed to respect and act despite the submission of various memorandums, staging of public rallies and loss of lives over the course of time.
“If government of India does finally decide to resolve all issues, it must refrain from any communal based political talk”, he contended, adding “If it fails to do, then it is time for us to ascertain who our ‘true friends’ are and work together for the future of the state”.
Questioning the government of India on the rationale behind the urgent need to conduct the delimitation process amid the COVID-19 crisis, the UCM president urged for the same to be conducted based on the correct census report.
With regard to the titular king of Manipur, Sunil said that the titular king used to be invited for the observance every year. However, no invitation was extended for this year as he (titular king) decided to plunge into politics. The king is not restricted to contest in the Rajya Sabha election. However, the only request made to him was to do so after all the issues have been resolved. The committee chairman then appreciated all those who extended monetary assistance and support for the successful conduct of the observance.
In his speech, Observation Committee vice chairman and AMUCO president Pheiroijam Nando Luwang said that the present government is not solution-oriented but rather more invested in changing the land ownership from one community to another.
“It is important to understand the true nature of the divide and rule played by the Indian government, as any lack of awareness would only lead to more misunderstanding and hatred between the different communities of the state”, he contended and appealed to the people to continue maintaining a unified stance against the government.
Nando then appreciated other organisations who are observing the day in other places owing to the COVID-19 crisis.
The Great June Uprising Unity Day was also observed by Lamphel Super Market Shops and Street Vendors Welfare Association, a release by Association general secretary K Subash has informed.
Meanwhile, in a release Northern United Clubs’ Organization (NUCO), a conglomerate of organisations from Khonghampat, informed that a simple observance was held at the community hall of MYDC club, Khonghampat Mantri Leikai wherein the gathering observed a two-minute silence and offered floral tribute to the martyrs of June 18.
The Great June Uprising, Unity Day was also observed by United Club and Library, Uripok Khwairak Selungba Leirak; People’s Awareness for National Advancement (PANA), Langol Laimanai and United Porompat Baruni Road Organisation (UPBRO), an apex body of 13 club organisations of Khurai and Kshetrigao located along Porompat Baruni road; Palem Panthou Cultural Trust, Langjing Achouba and Lalambung Makhong Youth Volunteers Association at their respective premises.
In all of the gathering, a two-minute silence was observed as a mark of respect to the departed souls, followed by offering of floral tributes and recitation of poems based on the incident.
Youth Council Manipur (YCM), Konjeng Leikai; All Manipur Students’ Guardians’ Organisation; Singjamei Apunba Nupi Lup; Siroy Club; Meetei Council Moreh; All Community Development Organisation Moreh; Nupi Khunnai Chaokhat Lamjing Lup Moreh; Kha-Nongpok Apunba Nupi Lup Moreh; All Manipur Students’ Union Tengnoupal district committee Moreh; Joint Committee on People's Welfare Yairipok and Yairipok Tampha Keithel women vendors; and Coordinating Body Khurai also organised tribute event Thursday.
Many of the organisations also conducted candle light vigil later in the evening while participants raised slogans for keeping intact territorial integrity of Manipur.