Tripartite talk remains inconclusive as UNC`s alternative arrangement demand denied

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SENAPATI June 30: Things ended on a sour note for the UNC today as its demand for an alternative administrative arrangement for Nagas has been left high and dry after the scheduled third tripartite talks held today at Senapati. 

Post the talks held at the DRDA office located inside the DC complex at Senapati Headquarters, Sword Vasum, chairman of the Committee for Alternative Arrangement said, “ We have deliberated the matter seriously, but there has been no fruitful conclusion, it is beyond any shadow of doubt that we have not demanded anything unconstitutional ,and certainly we know that it is not within the domain of the state of Manipur to grant the demand of our status, that’s why we have submitted the memorandum to the Indian government, we don’t expect anything from the side of the Manipur Chief Minister”, he told mediapersons.

On being questioned whether the UNC will take up any reactive measures of the talks held today, Vasum said, “I cannot tell right now, we have to sit down and consider, we have not been able to arrive at any definitive conclusion”.

He made it very clear that the talks did not go well for the Naga representatives today.

Chief secretary DS Poonia who led the eight member state delegate to Senapati district stated that the issue of the Naga bodies have been addressed by the state government as much as possible.

The development of the hill areas of the state have been taken up, the recently held Autonomous District Council elections is another political exercise which is aimed at the self governance of the tribal and sufficient funds also been provided. Poonia also hinted that there may be another round of scheduled talks in future.

Moreover, a press release issued by L Ibobi Singh, under secretary (Home) stating the cruxes of today’s talks mentions that, chairman Sword Vasum had conveyed that the alternative arrangement in the form of the ADC was not acceptable to them. The release contended that their demand was based on severing of ties with the Manipur government and suggested Bi-partite talks between the UNC and the Government of India. The suggestion was also not accepted by the MHA representatives in the said meeting, the release said.

It further stated that, the state delegation asked the UNC delegation to clearly spell out the specifics of the so called “Alternative Arrangement” as there is already in place a democratic system of the ADC and further had reiterated that ‘the territorial integrity of Manipur State is not negotiable.

Conclusively, the government representatives had expressed willingness to discuss the issues within the framework of the constitution and further reiterated that the territorial integrity of Manipur was not open for discussion, the stand was further endorsed by the MHA officers.

The talks began at 10 am in the morning and lasted for two hours.

The state government delegation took the line taken by Chief Minister O Ibobi who ruled out accepting the UNC alternative arrangement demand. The first round of talks was held in Delhi in September 2010 and subsequently followed by the second in Senapati on December 3. The four member central team consisted of UK Bansal, secretary (Internal Security) MHA, AK Mishra, joint director (Intelligence Bureau), Shambhu Singh, joint secretary (North East) and colonel SK Narayan, director (Military Officer-II) ministry of Defence.

The state government representatives consisted of chief secretary DS Poonia, LP Gonmei, principal secretary (Power), BK Kishpota, commissioner (Home), Sajjad Hassan, commissioner (Planning), Sumant Singh, secretary to CM, Devesh Deval, joint secretary (Home), Pradeep Kumar Jha, DC of Senapati, Nishit Kumar Ujjwal, SP of Senapati.

The Committee for Alternative Arrangement was led by its chairman Sword Vasum, member secretary , L Adani, Mani Charenamei, Ashinpao Ganmei, KS Paul Leo, Solomon Ningshen, president (Tangkhul Naga Long), ST Nunglung Victor, president of CNPO, Thomas Kamei, chairman of Zeliangrong Baudi and ML Markson, president of NPO.

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