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KNO threatens SoO abrogation in demand of `separate state`

NEW DELHI, November 2 (Newmai News Network): Kuki National Organisation (KNO), an umbrella organisation of more than 10 Kuki militant outfits has asserted today that it demands a separate Kuki state in Manipur under the Constitution of India. The KNO then said it had taken a decision to abrogate the Suspension of Operation (SoO) if the government does not hold dialogues with it by November 22.

Addressing a strong posse of journalists today at Press Club of India, New Delhi, spokesman of KNO Seilen Haokip said that the lands of the Kukis are never under the Meitei kings, and the land ownership system has always been under the Kuki chiefs. Until there is a political solution for the Kukis in Manipur, the chieftainship system should not be abolised, the KNO leader asserted. Seilen Haokip then said that the KNO has already taken a decision to abrogate the SoO if the government does not begin political talks by November 22, 2012 to find solutions to the Kuki political issues in Manipur. “If there is no political dialogue even after signing the SoO, then there is no point in staying at the designated camps set up on the basis of the SoO agreement. The KNO will have no other options but to go back to the jungle and continue its armed struggle against the state government and the government of India”, the KNO spokesman stated.

When asked about the demands of the KNO, Haokip said that the KNO`s demand is for a separate State for Kukis in Manipur under the Constitution of India. He further added that KNO demand confined only those of the lands and areas inhabitat by the Kukis and doesn`t demand areas of the Meiteis or the Nagas. “We want peaceful co-existence with other communities, and we do not want any to exploit the other”, he said.

When asked whether sections of people Manipur will allow the territorial disintegrity of Manipur, Seilen Haokip said that the valley-based Meiteis do not own the hills in Manipur. “It is not for the love of the hill people that they opposed the territorial disintegrity but due to their enjoyment of dominance over the hill people. They don`t own the hills or the tribal people. We hope they are sensible enough and do not claim what is not theirs. We are asking only what is rightfully ours”, Seilen Haokip said.

On the ongoing talks between the NSCN-IM and government of India, the KNO spokesperson said that the KNO is not opposed to any peaceful solutions reached between the two, provided the Kuki interests are not affected.

Chronicling the event, Seilen Haikip said in response to the call of the Prime Minister to abjure the path of violent and come forward for talks, the KNO signed the Suspension of Operation (SoO) with the Government of India (GoI) in 2005. “However, this was objected by the Manipur state government. So, in 2008, KNO signed a tripartite SoO with GoI and the State Government of Manipur. Even after seven (7) years of the signing of the SoO, during which peace prevailed in the Kuki hills of Manipur, the Government is yet to initiate any political dialogue”, the KNO spokesperson said.

Accusing the government of dictating terms, Haokip said that on August 31, 2012 the government unilaterally decided on a three-month extension of SoO, rather than the usual yearly basis. “It appears the government does not appreciate the peace dividend of the SoO”, the KNO leader said.



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