LAMKA, Aug 4: The Kukis were at first described by the Britons as big and tall in stature, white complexion bold and daring apart from being strong and sturdy. Yet they were peace lovers living in harmony with others around them.
Stating this today at a gathering to inaugurate designated Camp Sinai of the Kuki National Organisation, KNO, TS Haokip its Defence Secretary pointed out when the British tried to impose their hegemony over them they were constrained to declare war so as to protect their territory and freedom.
Stating their forefathers were never as poor as they are now, he said in the succeeding Anglo-Kuki war of 1917-19 and particularly in the period following Second World War the Kukis were as divided as ever with some living in Burma and the rest in India under extreme poverty and subjugation with the result that they have no more safety in all aspects of life.
Today many women and children lead a wretched life as a result of which many are unable to get educational facilities, he said giving a clarion call to all for doing a rethink over the factors that drive people to such a hard life.
With regards to Suspension of Operation, SoO, he said since the year 2005 the Government of India have turned attention in the direction of solving their problems and grating their demands and by 2008 the Kukis issue could be discussed resulting in the signing of SoO while recalling developments taking place way back in the year 1998, the time the KNA was formed.
During his speech he called for solution of issues with the village by the chiefs while expressing his desire that all pending cases are referred to the chiefs and not to any organization.
Criticising the largescale depletion of forests and use of poison in rivers to catch fishes and others, he urged all the chiefs to work in tandem with the organization.
Earlier, unveiling the commemoration stone by ribbon cutting was performed by Thangkam Lupheng Kuki Innpi President Saikul who has acted as Chief Guest of the occassion alongwith unfurling of the National Flag followed by a dedication prayer from Rev Tonglet Haokip .
This is the fourth designated camp inaugurated under the KNO so far with the rest namely Hebron for 1st Bn Kuki Army, Salem for 2nd Bn, Sinai for 3rd Bn and Gilgala for the 4th BN having been opened earlier.