UNC cautions Naga MLAs

Mon, 30 Oct 2017 01:01:05 GMT
The United Naga Council (UNC) has warned Naga elected members at this most crucial moment that whoever among them is working against the “collective history” of the Nagas will not be spared . This “warning” from the Naga body came at the backdrop of the “all political parties meeting on the territorial integrity of Manipur with reference to peace talks between the Government of India and NSCN-IM”.

On Sunday, UNC warned “elected members” from Naga community saying that, indulging in activities which are detrimental to the Naga movement will invite serious consequences. UNC also asserted that it will not remain mute to “all those measures which are against the Naga interest” taken up by different elements including the Manipur Government . “We are closely observing the unfolding development in Manipur currently,” said UNC while adding, “We will respond befittingly to all those elements and factors who/which are hurdles to the Naga peace process.” UNC further said that “we feel our patience has been taken as our weakness” . UNC then asked Nagas not to extend co-operation or involve in any programme which is attached with the names of the “seven new districts.” UNC further asked the Naga people to remain fully aware of the “designs of our adversaries” .

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UNC to meet MANIPUR and Central Govts on May 19

Senapati | May 15

The tripartite talk involving the United Naga Council (UNC), State Government of Manipur and Central Government will be held on May 19 at Senapati Town on the district creation issue.

Sources said the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had communicated to the UNC today in this regard. However, they said a ‘written invitation’ for the talk is yet to reach the UNC and the State Government of Manipur from the MHA. It is learnt that due to the North East Chief Secretaries’ meeting convened by the MHA the tripartite talk was postponed for a week.

In the last tripartite talk on March 19 in Senapati it was agreed that the “next round of tripartite talks will be resumed within a month’s time at political level”. The one month’s time had lapsed on April 19.

Last week, UNC President, Gaidon Kamei had stated that “we are closely observing” whether the Biren Singh Government has wavered from its earlier position. “Let us hope that the Manipur Government does not indulge in double-talks while dealing with the issue.”

In the March 19 tripartite talk the “grievances of UNC that led to the imposition of economic blockade were recognised as non-adherence to the four Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) and the Government of India’s assurance on the matter”. In that talk “the Manipur government agreed to start consultation with all stakeholders to redress the same”.

Gaidon Kamei had stated earlier that in the event of the failure from the part of the Manipur Government to keep its commitment to adhere to the four Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) and assurances, “we have no choice but to initiate necessary movement to defend our rights and lands”.

“Our position is clear on the issue. The Government must honour the four MoUs and the assurance to the Nagas on the issue whatever it is,” asserted Gaidon Kamei, adding, “We are not going to compromise our position.” – NNN

Will the NPF and UNC ultimately part away peacefully?

Dr. R.B. Thohe Pou

Today, one of the most complicated political issue on Naga political issue in Manipur is the NPF and the UNC – the best and sweetest political partner in Manipur in last State Assembly and MP election. And today, it seems both of them are ready to part away peacefully for the interest of the Naga public after two elections. In last State Assembly and MP election, the NPF and UNC claimed to be the sole representative of the Naga people in Manipur; the other political parties were tagged as anti-Naga political parties and the people supporting the other political parties were also tagged as anti-Naga. According to them, all the political parties and whoever supports the other political parties except the NPF is anti-Naga.

Today the NPF is going to contest in ADC election in Manipur – the maximum number of seats are going to be filled by the NPF candidates as reported in the media. On a contrary, the UNC is going to oppose the NPF and going for agitation against the NPF as reported in the media. The NPF also claimed to be the representative of the Naga people in Manipur and contest in all the constituencies in Manipur State Assembly election; however they could win only four seats. This also apparently shows that majority of the Nagas did not vote for the NPF in last State Assembly election. Otherwise, the NPF could have win easily in most of the seats.

Both the UNC and NPF claimed to be the representative of the Naga people. So do you think the separation of the UNC and NPF will further divide the unity of the Naga people in Manipur? Is this not a complicated issue to be understood by a laymen people like me and you? Who is going to represent for the Nagas in Manipur – either UNC or NPF? What happen to NPF claiming to be representing for the Nagas in Manipur in last two elections in Manipur? Are they still representing for the Nagas in Manipur? Or are they leaving behind the Naga public in order to contest in ADC election in Manipur? Is contesting ADC election against the aspiration of the Naga people? Is contesting in State Assembly and MP election against the aspiration of the Naga people?

The UNC declaring “Severe ties” with the Government of Manipur and involving in the State Assembly election is also very complicated. The UNC tags the Manipur Government as “communal government” and also declared “Severe ties” with the Government of Manipur and involving in the State Assembly election with the NPF party shows that they are directly or indirectly supporting the Manipur Government. Why the UNC should take interest in Manipur State Assembly election and send their representatives (NPF) to State Government when they have declared “Severe ties” with the Government of Manipur? It may be much better when the UNC stay away completely from State Assembly election as they have declared “Severe ties” with the Government of Manipur. It is very difficult for the public to understand about the UNC ideologies when they involved in State Assembly and declaring “Severe ties” with the State Government.

Will the glorious present NPF MLA in Manipur who have forcefully won in last Manipur State Assembly in the name of Nagas unity resign and work with the UNC? Will the NPF becomes anti-Naga public by contesting in ADC election? Or will the UNC becomes the anti-Naga by defying the so called the Naga People party by opposing the Naga people political party? Or do you think that the Naga public have gone against the UNC’s unilateral decision to oppose the ADC election? With starting of media war between the NPF and UNC, it becomes more complicated for the layman to understand the present situation in Manipur. Finally who is going to stand and represent for the Nagas in Manipur?

Charenamei hits back word for word

IMPHAL, Jun 26: Giving his side of the story to the news item which appeared in the June 15 issue under the heading “UNC socially boycotts Mani Charenamei”, the former MP has come out with a point by point response.

A source had then informed The Sangai Express that the UNC had taken the decision as the former MP was allegedly working against the demand for an Alternative Arrangement for the Nagas of Manipur.

The former MP’s response is given here ad verbatim.

I am compelled to issue this clarification in response to the UNC’s resolution no. 5 of 28th May 2014 as the resolution contains misleading informations and malicious aforethoughts to ruin my political career by levelling unfounded and baseless accusations against me for the defeat of the NPF candidate in the 16th Lok Sabha election, 2014.

Before I formally and publicly declared my stand to contest the 16th Lok Sabha election as an Independent candidate on 5th October 2013, I had already started my consultation as early as from May 2013. I had consulted some of the prominent leaders who are engaged in Peace Talks for peaceful conduct of election, with my well wishers, with elders and leaders of various tribal communities, with honourable MLAs cutting across party lines and leaders of different political parties for their valued suggestions and advice. In fact, most of the leaders I consulted supported my vision and decision to fight as an Independent candidate as it is the only platform where all parties and communities can unite for the common cause and burning issues the people of the state are facing today.

The main reason of declaring my stand to contest the 16th Lok Sabha Election as an Independent candidate well in advance was done in order to give ample time to the electorate to make their conscientious decisions  and also to avoid allegations that I contested as Independent candidate because I was denied otherparty tickets.

Even after taking decision to contest in the 16th Lok Sabha election I continued to have consultation with important organisations and many tribal chiefs and leaders. As far as I could remember I consulted with the Manipur state unit NPF President as many as five times, with NPF leaders Manipur In charge(Central)two times, with the NPF President on 13th Jan. 2014, with the Search Committee members several times and UNC executives two times and with various Tribal Presidents two to three times at their respective places. During the consultations with all the concerned leaders and organisations I had made my ideas very clear to everyone that it is highly risky to contest election depending on the votes of a single community and that it will be better if NPF chose to stay away from contesting and rather support an Independent candidate as it would be a better option for all the Tribal voters to come together keeping in view the known chemistry and complex electoral dynamics driven by conflicting demands among the people of Outer Manipur. I am constrained to point out these facts because most of our people opined that it will not be correct and proper to field NPF candidate in Manipur.

I believe, there is hardly any politician among the Naga community except me who cared to consult all the concerned leaders across party lines and irrespective of tribes to find a deeper understanding on the issues the tribal people of the state are facing. However, instead of appreciating my sincere efforts, NPF and its workers were actively involved in spreading false propaganda that I have been sponsored by the INC party, that I have already withdrawn from contesting, that I am anti Naga,etc. etc., all but to ruin my political career. I had, in fact, warned the UNC and other concerned Naga leaders  that the present Naga society is overwhelmed with trust deficit, misunderstanding and disunity therefore UNC should not take any decision which could further enhance the division of the society by showing favour to a single party. The reason why leaders of other political parties could not agree to support the PDA candidature in 2009 election is obvious and simple and needs no explanation.

To everybody’s surprise UNC came out with a decision to support NPF candidate only on 19th March 2014 without carrying out proper assessment about the desire and wish of the Naga public. Had UNC stood for free and fair election the outcome of the election would have been very different.

I also wanted to make it very clear to you and your associates that I was never informed formally or officially by any group or person not to contest the 16th Lok Sabha election after I had announced my intention to contest as an Independent candidate.

Now, coming to the wild accusation of UNC that my contest in the 16 Lok Sabha election had caused widespread confusion among the people and terming as anti Naga activities are completely misleading and false. Further, the UNC alleged that my statement had put in question the legitimacy of the AA demand and had given negative reflection to the world. In this regard, I had already made necessary press clarification on the misquoted news items. As a person who took active part in the tripartite talk on Alternative Arrangement I could never question the legality of the Naga peoples’ demand for Alternative Arrangement. As a matter of fact, the legality of the AA demand was not raised during the press interview. As a matter of fact, in my interview I had boldly expressed that it was heartening to know that the talk AA was elevated to the political level. And I also want to clarify that the reason for leaving the negotiating team was not a betrayal to the AA movement but to give more leverage to the AA movement by roping in  the involvement of the Naga Parliamentary Forum and I even informed the UNC President about my decision on leaving the AA team. Moreover if the demand for AA is illegitimate how could I include demand for Full Autonomy for the tribal areas of Manipur in my Election manifesto. More than that, I even made the ongoing Peace Talk as no. 1 priority of my manifesto.

The allegation that I had  dissipated the Naga Parliamentarian Forum into an oblivion is completely false and misleading. The formation of Naga Parliamentarian Forum, Manipur was initiated by the Members of Naga Parliamentarians themselves. It is true, the first meeting was presided by the UNC President, Mr. Samson Remmei but, the guiding Principles and Rules were independently framed and approved by the members themselves. The guiding principles says that the Naga Parliamentarian Forum, Manipur (NPFM) will not be subservient to any organisation. The NPFM had chosen not to be under the control of any organisation because the NPFM members may be called upon to play a much bigger role for the Naga community particularly in reaching out to both Government authorities and civil societies for building peace and understanding among various communities.

In fact, the NPFM has a plan to call on all the Chief Ministers  of the North Eastern states in the near future and we have never done any activities to lower the dignity or sell out the rights of the Nagas. In fact, it is deeply committed to the Naga cause and will continue to work for the welfare of the Naga people.

UNC also charged that as I was blessed in the past two elections in 2004 and 2009 with Naga support I should abide by the declaration issued by the UNC. But, what is most surprising was, I was never given an opportunity to share my views and opinions in any of the UNC meetings in spite of knowing that I have been running from pillar to post to bring an understanding among concerned organisations and leaders. Moreover, UNC never officially informed me about any decisions taken on the election related matters. As a matter of fact, I was only called to meet the NPF leaders only after filing nomination papers which I could not make it due to hectic election campaign schedules. And I also wanted to clarify that at any point of time I was not told that I will be no more qualified to be the consensus candidate as I have been blessed two times. In fact, I was hopeful that if at all the UNC wants to find a consensus candidate then it will decide on the Independent candidate in order to get the support of different parties and communities.

The UNC extended full support when I contested as an Independent candidate in 2004. However, in 2009  when I contested from PDA party which is a regional party UNC was not involved actively saying that it cannot associate with any political party as per its constitution. However, the UNC came all out in support of the NPF party in 2014 which is also a regional party overriding its former stand.

The social boycott call announced only against me while sparing other prominent Naga candidates by the UNC is a bias decision and is aimed at tarnishing my image. It is true that I was the consensus Naga candidate in 2004 and 2009 Lok Sabha elections. In 2004 election I got around 228000 votes ( about 56% of the Naga votes) and  I was elected by a margin of 84,000 votes in 2004. Everybody knew that my winning in 2004 was facilitated by the absence of INC candidate in the fray and the boycott call given by Thoubal voters. In 2009 I got 223000 votes ( about 51% of the Naga votes )and I was defeated by a margin of 1,19,000 votes. It is a well known fact that a large chunk of Naga votes were taken away by the BJP candidate who was a Naga in 2004 and 2009 Lok Sabha elections and more than 60,000 Naga votes went to the INC candidate in 2009, in spite of having a consensus Naga candidate. In fact, in 2009 my fervent request to contest as an Independent candidate went unheeded. As far I could remember there were not less than two or three Naga candidates who contested against the Naga consensus both in 2004 and 2009 Lok Sabha elections but no social boycott was declared against any of the Naga candidates who contested against the Naga consensus candidate. I am therefore compelled to ask why UNC has failed to apply the same yardstick against all the candidates who contested against the Naga consensus candidate in 2004 and 2009 elections.

I also wish to know whether I am a lesser Naga than the NPF candidate and whatever issues I had raised in the Indian parliament has no relevance to the Naga issue and will my election to the 16th Lok Sabha be a great loss to the Naga Movement ? On what ground those leaders who went all out against the consensus Naga candidate in 2004 and 2009 were exempted from social boycott and how they have been given top post in the UNC office ? Further, what I wanted to ask the UNC is, whether my Independent candidature with an aim to unite all the underprivileged tribal communities is a crime that befits social  boycott and imposing heavy fines on my supporters for exercising their democratic rights ?

I would also wish to point out that I was the one  who secured the least Naga votes among the Naga candidates. I secured only about 20, 000 Naga votes, BJP and INC secured more Naga votes than me. Everybody know that there was open vote sharing between INC and NPF in some polling stations. Poor performance of NPF in Nungba, Tamenglong and Tamei constituencies compared to other Naga districts is not my doing. The NPF and its volunteers  also levelled baseless and unfounded allegations against me that I have been paid a lot of money to contest against the NPF candidate by the Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister of Manipur.

It will be good on the part of every Naga to know that the defeat of NPF is not the defeat of the Naga Movement. The defeat of NPF is attributed to the wrong policy decision taken by UNC and NPF leadership and not due to the contest of other Naga candidates.

This time NPF could muster more than 2,70,000  Naga votes and it was defeated, next time they may be able to muster all the Naga votes but they should remember that its opponent will come out even stronger than before to defeat them as long as they refuse to understand the dynamics of a highly polarised tribal politics prevalent in the state of Manipur. In fact, if I had contested from NPF party I would have faced the same fate. The Sangai Express

UNC boycotts former Outer MP Charenamei

IMPHAL, Jun 14: On the charge of mobilizing a movement against the demand for an Alternative Arrangement for the Nagas of Manipur outside the Government of Manipur pending a solution to the Indo-Naga issue, former Outer Manipur Parliamentarty Constituency MP Mani Charenamei has been boycotted for good.

A well placed source informed that the decision to socially boycott Mani Charenamei was adopted at a meeting of Naga leaders held under the aegis of the United Naga Council (UNC) at Senapati on June 10. The same decision has also been intimated to all Naga tribe leaders so that the former MP is effectively ostracised from the Naga society.

Notably, Mani Charenamei contested the 14th Lok Sabha election as a UNC sponsored candidate and won the Outer Manipur Lok Sabha seat.

As an MP, Mani Charenamei joined the Committee on Alternative Arrangement and took key roles in the movement for Alternative Arrangement.

However, in the 16th Lok Sabha elections held recently, Mani Charenamei contested the election as an independent candidate unsuccessfully.

Had Mani Charenamei not contested the election, NPF candidate Soso Lorho would have got all the votes secured by the former MP and the NPF man could have easily won the Outer Manipur Lok Sabha seat, said the source.

Many Naga leaders are not happy with Mani Charenamei as he is seen as posing hurdles to the political manoeuvres initiated to bring a solution to the Naga issue.

NPF candidate Soso Lorho lost to Congress candidate Thangso Baite in the recent Lok Sabha election by a margin of just around 15,000 votes.

On the other hand, Mani Charenamei secured around 35,000 votes. Many Naga leaders are of the opinion that Mani Charenamei ate into the Naga vote banks and it was a major factor for the defeat of NPF candidate in Manipur.

One key leader of the UNC told The Sangai Express that Mani Charenamei after being elected MP joined the Committee on Alternative Arrangement.

He also took major roles in the committee and was present in the first three rounds of the tripartite talks.

However, taking a sharp U turn, Mani Charenamei in his efforts to woo voters ahead of the 16th Lok Sabha election raised the question of Alternative Arrangement demand’s legitimacy in the public domain. This caused a major setback to the movement for Alternative Arrangement, said the UNC leader.

Contrary to the general expectation of championing for the cause of Alternative Arrangement, Mani Charenamei built up a counter-movement, thereby creating confusion among the Naga people although he was supported by a handful of people.

Because of his counter movement and disrespect of the Naga issue, majority of the Naga leaders who attended the Senapati meeting of June 10 felt that Mani Charenamei should not be given any place of dignity in the Naga society.

Subsequently, the meeting resolved to boycott Mani Charenamei for good, said the UNC leader. Sangai Express

Message from UNC in the Valedictory Programme of the 3rd World Zomi Convention 2013

Message from the United Naga Council in the Valedictory Programme of the 3rd World Zomi Convention on 27th October, 2013 at Lamka Public Ground.

Respected Pu L. B. Sona, Chairman Zomi Council, K. G. Tungnung, Secretary ZC, Dr Pu R. Sanga, Convenor of the OC of this 3rd WZC and Pu Suanmoi Guite, Co-convenor of the OC, Pu Khaizasong Guite, Advisor ZC, All Presidents of the 9 tribes of the ZC, invitee dignitaries, leaders of communities and participants of the 3rd World Zomi Convention .

UNC President during the 3rd World Zomi Convention

UNC President during the 3rd World Zomi Convention

I and my colleagues from the UNC bring greetings to this convention from the Naga Peoples in Manipur and also from the Naga Hoho, the apex pan Naga organisation of the Nagas.

We thank the Zomi Council and the Organising Committee for the invitation to this historic convergence of the Zomis. The UNC is here in attendance this afternoon in respect and honour of the invitation and of this great event.

The Organising Committee in its letter of invitation had mentioned that since the 1st world Zomi Convention held at Champhai in 1988, significant geopolitical changes have taken place in the north east region of India and in neighbouring Myanmar. In the light of such changes it is indeed relevant to focus on the theme “ Moving Forward” of the Convention. The cultural exchange programme which stages different communities of the region reflects the reality of the changing world where isolation is a thing of the past and of history.

In this coming together of Zomis’ and other communities at the World Zomi Convention, we would like to strike a different note from what must have been shared and was shared by earlier speakers in the convention with due respect to their office and standings. The Zomi and the Nagas have a similar historical situation in that both our people were divided without our free, prior and informed consent when the demarcation of the subcontinent into India and Burma took place, which left us in different states within India and also in different countries. My message will be with reference to the past and the present situation of the tribals of Manipur.

We the tribals in Manipur are placed in an impossible situation where in a house of 60 MLAs, 40 comes from the non-tribal and dominant community. The equation is such that the 20 tribal MLAs, who are again divided on tribal and party lines, cannot assert for the rights of the tribal people when it is perceived to be detrimental to the interest of the dominant community in the state. While the spirit may be willing and good intention will definitely not be lacking, the equation and configuration in the system simply does not allow tribals to muster strength in unity. It is rights of the tribals versus the interest of the dominant community, in a system which weighs heavily in favour of the latter.  All throughout the so called shared history, the identity and dignity of the tribals has not been respected. Be it on our ownership of land and resources, our traditional institutions and culture, our political aspiration for empowerment, representation, employment opportunities within the system, development etc, whatever makes for good life – there has been relentless marginalisation and the same will continue should no changes be secured.

As we are all aware, today there is a demand emanating from the Imphal valley for recognising the dominant community as tribals and declaring Manipur as a hill state. The distinct identity of the tribals which finds its essence in their unique cultures and tradition is being proposed to be nullified in a new construct of “Manipur” and “Manipuri”. The ramifications are obvious : protection of our land, our employment opportunities and our representation will cease to be operative by law. It was this common concern that led to the institution of the Manipur Tribal Peoples’ Co-ordination Committee in August this year by the apex tribal organisations in the state. This demand for ST status of the Meeteis may come or may not come into place, but the tribals must not fail to discern the interest which has spawned this demand, for it is with the same disrespect with which our rights are being obliterated through laws, enactments & notifications. Therefore the  “Moving Forward” of the Zomi people and the tribals in the state of Manipur will continue to be scuttled should changes through an alternative arrangement be not secured.

Taking this opportunity we also appeal to the dominant and majority community to look afresh on the situation, where the sharp social divide is very, very real. We can work together to be strong people and communities. The state is not the property of any individual or any particular community. An alternative arrangement that brings changes to accommodate the identity, dignity, rights and political aspirations of all will be a boon for all the stakeholders. Without respect for the human person and our people, development cannot take place. Without respect development will and can only pretend to happen.  The magnanimity of recognising this imperative will push up all of us collectively to the brotherhood of mankind, where there is mutual respect and honour, free from oppression, subjugation and dominance upon each other.

On behalf of the Naga people, we also appeal to the tribal communities in the state and region for respect of each other’s genuine aspiration so that we can move forward to a shared future with the rest of humanity. We cannot wish away history. But history should not be interpreted selectively and to one’s own convenience. If we are to conditionalize our relationship with perceived aberrations of the past, the way forward together would indeed be perilous. It would be unfortunate if position are taken by factorising  equations, as in electoral politics, where one lands up with strange bedfellows and throw spanners upon each other’s movement, to please other  factors in the equation, be they state or non state, and win the argument of the day but loose what is truly cherished.

When it becomes more difficult to suffer then to change, the human spirit urges for change and to struggle for change. We have to make changes possible and that is the only option before us – the change that empowers our people. This is hard Politics and must be carried forward in spite of the overwhelming odd that we have spoken of. Towards this struggle for change, the UNC will support the rights of every tribal community. We would also maintain that the tribals must today prove themselves and be recognised for the aspirations and the rights that they uphold.

We therefore extend our solidarity to the Zomi Council and assure of our continued cooperation and support for the aspiration of the Zomis.

Thank you once again for this opportunity and this privilege in the 3rd World Zomi Convention.

Long Live Zomi Council !  Long Live Zomis !

( L. ADANI )

President

United Naga Council