Today, the Government of India, Government of Manipur and UNC held Tripartie Talk at Senapati on 19 May 2017.
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
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?
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
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
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 .
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 )
United Naga Council
MEMORANDUM SUBMITTED TO DR Y. V. REDDY, CHAIRMAN OF THE 14TH FINANCE COMMISSION, GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
DATED IMPHAL, 7TH OCTOBER, 2013
Subject: DEMAND FOR SEPARATE BUDGET FOR NAGAS IN MANIPUR outside the government of manipur.
Imphal 7Oct: While warmly welcoming you and your esteemed colleagues from the 14th Finance Commission of the Government of India on your visit to the State, the United Naga Council (UNC) wish to avail of this opportunity to make the following submission for your serious consideration.
You may kindly be aware that the Nagas in Manipur under the aegis of the UNC had declared severance of ties with the Government of Manipur(GoM) in the Naga People’s Convention held on 1st July, 2010. The UNC is now engaged in a tripartite dialogue process with the GoM and the Government of India(GoI) at the initiative of the latter on our demand for an alternative arrangement outside the GoM pending settlement of the Indo-Naga issue as per the memorandum submitted to the Prime Minister of India through the Hon’ble Union Home Minister on the 14th of September, 2010 at Delhi(copy enclosed). There has already been 6 rounds of talks, the last of which took place at Delhi on the 30th August, 2013.
The issue on which we have based our demand is not about development deficit or bringing improvement in the existing system. Our considered view is that development will not and cannot happen in the tribal areas unless an alternative arrangement outside the existing political system of the GoM is put in place. The demand is for political empowerment where the life and governance of the Nagas and tribals are not subjected to the interest of the communal Government of Manipur which is informed and determined by the brute majority of 40 representatives from the Imphal valley in a total legislative assembly house of 60. The demand is also premised on the sharp social divide on communal lines in the present state of Manipur, which the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India had noted with concern in the 40th conference of DGPs on 26th August, 2010. This social divide is not a recent development but was inherent in the construction of the present state of Manipur and even prior to the merger of Manipur to the Indian Union. It was vitiated by decades of suppression, subjugation and hegemonic domination of the Nagas and tribals by the communal Government of Manipur. The impossible conditions in which Nagas and tribals exist under the Communal Government of Manipur, unable to live with dignity and honour and have their land, traditional institutions, culture and way of life protected is the core issue. Through use of state forces and sanctions obtained with brute majority the rights and interest of the Nagas and the tribals in Manipur are being surely and irredeemably taken away.
Sir, your good self and esteemed colleagues cannot fail to appreciate during your visit to the state that even after completion of the 13th Finance Commission, the Naga areas stands out with its backwardness and underdevelopment, devoid of infrastructure and the essentials of good life.
The GoM of Manipur has submitted lists of projects as development initiatives taken up in the Naga and tribal areas of the state in the course of the dialogue process. We have made visits to 19 such projects identified at random and our observation on them amply exemplifies how in the name of development of the tribal areas sanctions are obtained for projects and funds released but without any effective facility or benefits generated for the tribals. The projects are being capitalised upon as opportunities to misappropriate funds by agents and front agencies of the GoM. Copies of our cover note and observations on the 19 projects along with photographs which were submitted in the 6th Tripartite talk is also enclosed for reference.
At this juncture, it is our contention that the GoI must make separate budgetary provisions for Nagas in Manipur respect of all development and welfare programmes so that the diversion, misutilisation, underutilisation and non-utilisation of the funds provided by the GoI for the Nagas and tribal areas is put to a stop to ensure social and political, social and economic justice for our people. Should the GoI plead helplessness citing the technicality of centre-state relationship, then it condemns the Nagas to continued deprivation and suppression and GoI becomes the knowing and willing abettor of the injustices to which we have been subjected to.
We, therefore solicit your kind initiative for provision of clearly separate budget for the Nagas and Naga areas of Manipur to guarantee that our people and homeland are not condemned to perpetual underdevelopment and backwardness.
(L. ADANI) (GAIDON KAMEI)
President General Secretary
- True Copy of Memorandum submitted to honourable Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh,
Government of India by the United Naga Council dated New Delhi, September 14, 2010.
- Cover note along with observations & photographs of the United Naga Council on 19 development projects in Naga areas submitted by Government of Manipur as development initiatives taken up in the Naga areas.
MEMORANDUM SUBMITTED TO HONOURABLE PRIME MINISTER, DR MANMOHAN SINGH, GOVERNMENT OF INDIA, BY THE UNITED NAGA COUNCIL
DATED NEW DELHI, SEPTEMBER 14, 2010
Subject: SEVERING THE TIES THAT BIND – DEMAND FOR ALTERNATIVE ARRANGEMENT.
We the undersigned, for and on behalf of the Nagas in the present state of Manipur, once again come before your esteemed office to draw your urgent attention to the subject cited above for your immediate intervention.
That, on 1st July, 2010, the Nagas in the present State of Manipur resolved through its highest decision making forum, the Naga Peoples’ Convention (NPC), that Nagas will sever all political ties with the communal Government of Manipur (GoM), and therefore, the vacuum in governance and administration created thereby must be filled with an alternative arrangement by the Government of India (GoI) in consultation with the Naga people at the earliest possible time. It was also declared that the imposed Autonomous District Councils election is “null & void” and under no circumstances shall the district councils be allowed to function in the Naga areas.
This drastic decision was necessitated by the unmistakable fact that it had become impossible for the Nagas to protect their right to life, land, time-honored institutions, customary practices and values under the administration of the dominant and communal GoM, as their history has clearly confirmed the harsh reality that the GoM has never recognized and respected their identity and dignity.
A copy of the above mentioned resolution of the Nagas was electronically communicated to your good office on 3rd July, 2010.
Sir, it is necessary to draw your attention to the historical fact that the Nagas in the present state of Manipur were independent of the Manipur Maharaja. A dual system of administration for the Hills and the Valley came into existence after the British annexed the Meitei kingdom of Manipur in 1891. This system continued even after 1949 when the Meitei kingdom was merged with the Indian Union along with the hill areas, without the knowledge and consent of the Nagas and other tribal people. This indicated that the indisputable separateness between the Nagas and the people from Manipur Valley was recognized even then.
The Nine Point Agreement of June 1947 signed between Sir Akbar Hydari, Governor of Assam, and the Naga National Council (NNC) clearly envisaged and recognized the right of the Nagas to live together under a single united administration. Further, the thirteenth clause of the Sixteen Point Agreement, 1960, between the GoI and the Naga Peoples’ Convention testified to India’s standing commitment to the consolidation of contiguous Naga areas.
The Nagas in Manipur have always opposed their inclusion within Manipur. As far back as 1948, the Nagas in Manipur under the Naga National League (NNL) had made their stand clear that they will not be part of Manipur since the latter had never conquered the Nagas; that it would be impossible for the Nagas to preserve their culture, tradition, customary laws and political practices should the Nagas and their land be split up and placed under different administrative units. The NNL expressed their strong desire to merge with the Naga Hills District
of Assam through the boycott of the preparation of electoral rolls in Naga areas in Manipur. The Nagas further launched the “No House Tax Campaign” refusing to pay the annual House Tax to the Government of Manipur and instead submitted their annual house tax to Charles Pawsey, D.C. of Naga Hills of Assam at Kohima. The campaign was forcibly suppressed resulting in the death of three Nagas and the wounding of many. It may be recalled that, for the second time, the Hill House Tax-2006 of Naga households living in the present state of Manipur was not submitted to the GoM but to the Hon’ble Prime Minister’s office on 7th July 2006 to show the Naga’s strong desire to live together as one people.
It is unimaginable that in the land of Mahatma Gandhi, Nagas have suffered so much violence —rape, torture, killings, and destruction of property through militarization and imposition of draconian laws like the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958—and that Nagas have become victims of the same colonizing policies which Gandhiji fought and won through nonviolence.
The disrespect for the rights and aspiration of the Nagas and their continued suppression forced the Nagas to defend themselves. We now come before you to help us avoid a violent conflagration that the Nagas in Manipur are faced with at this juncture.
Apart from the brutal suppression of the rightful demands of the Nagas, legal enactments supposedly passed for the welfare of the tribals in the hill areas, rather than enhancing tribal autonomy and strengthening their traditional independent institutions or self governance, were surreptitiously introduced to create space for interference by the state. It has led to land alienation, extermination of culture of the tribals and systematic bureaucratization, exploitation and discrimination against them by the state and the dominant community of Manipur. For the tribals, all the legal enactments in the guise of protecting their rights exist only in name and they have become instruments for serving the interest of the Meiteis. Laws such as the Manipur Village Authorities (Hill Areas) Act, 1956; the Manipur Land Revenue and Land Reforms Act, 1960; the Manipur Hill Areas (Acquisition of Chiefs’ Rights) Act, 1966; the Manipur (Hill Areas) District Councils Act, 1971; the Manipur Liquor Prohibition (Amendment) Act
2002, etc have led to the erosion of our rights. Further, constitutional provisions such as Art 371-C which provides for some form of protection of the interests and rights of the tribals in Manipur have been completely and intentionally ignored.
Hon’ble Sir, the tribal areas in Manipur is 20,089 sq km constituting 90% of the state’s total of 22,327 sq. km and has a population of 9,83,074 making up for 41% of the state’s total of 23,88,634. The tribals have only 20 representatives in the house of 60. Each tribal MLAs represents a population of 49,154 and about 1004.5 sq km on an average. On the other hand, Manipur valley has an area of just 2,238 sq km i.e. 10% of the state’s total area and has a population of 14,05,560, i.e. 59% of the State’s total. The Manipur valley has 40 MLAs who represents just 35,139 population and 55.9 sq km on an average. Despite clear constitutional requirement for delimitation adjustment of Assembly Constituencies following the above mentioned changes in demography, whereby the tribal representation in the Manipur Legislative Assembly would have increased, the same has been willfully ignored and rejected by the communal GoM.
This warped system is the handy instrument used for suppression and discrimination against the tribal population in Manipur. A sample physical verification of development programmes supposedly implemented in the tribal areas during the last seven-eight years will bear out the fact that there has been open looting of public funds in the name of development in the tribal areas.
Nagas do not desire conflicts arising out of ethnic and communal divide. However, when the dominant community is using the same as a basis for discrimination and suppression it becomes inevitable that the divide, which is created by such discrimination and suppression, is accentuated to an irreparable point. “Hao” the derogatory term meaning “untouchable”, “uncivilized”, or “inferior” is still commonly used by the Meiteis against tribals; such attitudes and prejudices play decisive roles in shaping and informing the policies of the GoM and the interaction of the Meiteis with the tribals in Manipur.
We draw your attention to the grave potential for communal confrontations and violence which could flare up at the slightest provocations, intentional or perceived as such by any community. As you would surely appreciate, the situation is fragile, sensitive, and delicate, and therefore requires your immediate intervention to avoid any catastrophic consequences.
We believe that peaceful parting of ways of the Nagas in Manipur and the Meiteis as good neighbours is the only way to avert catastrophic situations that would arise out of prolongation of the forced union.
It is our firm belief that good neighbourliness between the Nagas and the dominant community of the Manipur Valley can only be ensured when the Nagas and their land are not governed and administered by the dominant and communal Government of Manipur.
We, therefore earnestly solicit your personal initiative to intervene with an alternative arrangement for the Nagas in Manipur at the earliest.
We express our gratitude for the audience and receipt of this submission.
May God bless you with good health and long life.
(SAMSON REMEI) (SWORD VASHUM)
United Naga Council Committee for Alternative Arrangement
United Naga Council’s(UNC) response in the 6th Tripartite Talk held on 30th August, 2013 at Delhi to Government of Manipur(GoM) on their submission in the tripartite talk on development initiatives taken up by them in the tribal areas of Manipur
During the political tour taken up by the UNC in Naga areas in Manipur during April–May, 2013 to update the Naga people on the movement for an alternative arrangement outside the GoM pending settlement of the Indo-Naga issue, a random visit to some project sites listed and submitted by the GoM as evidence of their initiatives for development of the tribal areas was undertaken. While our issue is not about development deficit, we have felt it necessary to respond in black and white to the GoM’s submission on it’s development initiative in the Naga areas.
It may be appreciated we do not have access to detailed information on the listed projects being a civil society organisation, nor the expertise to offer precise observations on the status of the few projects that were visited. Therefore we are furnishing a response based on the prima facie observations made by our team in their visit to 20 numbers of the listed projects spread out in the Naga areas with and without photographs( as applicable).
- 1. There is definitely willingness to sanction projects in the tribal areas as was evident from the number of listed projects submitted in the 3rd, 4th and 5th tripartite talk.
- 2. Without exception, as per our limited knowledge none of the completed projects which were visited and were in place or underway, matched the reported status of funds sanctioned or released in terms of work.
- 3. In some cases there was absolutely no work done worth the name while huge amounts have been released and disbursed.
- 4. Quite a few projects were left abandoned and incomplete leaving ugly structures strewn around in the tribal areas.
- 5. Some of the projects reported as completed did not have any maintenance/repair/upkeep arrangement and were laying waste. They have presumably been sanctioned and constructed just for the sake of doing so and not to effectively benefit the stakeholders.
- 6. It was seen that there was no participation of the stakeholders/actual beneficiaries of the project which created space for various problems that were capitalised upon by GoM and its agencies for non-completion, abandonment or delay in completion.
- 7. It was surprising that no known actions have been taken by the GoM against those responsible in respect of the projects where there was scandalous and clear absence of work, reflecting on the absence of mandatory monitoring. This further also brings into question the integrity and efficacy of the monitoring mechanism of the concerned Ministry of the Union Government.
- 8. The status report of the GoM submitted in the tripartite talk was therefore frivolous and disrespectful of the intelligence and sentiment of the Naga people. The manner in which such gross irregularities have been committed in the name of development of tribal areas calls for an alternative arrangement where the same would not be allowed to happen and the people will have their due share of development and progress.
- 9. The considered view of the UNC is that real development cannot, or ever will, take place in the hills/tribal areas under the existing political system and under the GoM because the system is programmed and structured in such a way that the tribals cannot ensure their own development. An alternative political arrangement
is the only answer.
United Naga Council
30th August, 2013