AMCO appeal to civil society to work for peace

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IMPHAL, Jan 30 (NNN): The All Manipur Christian Organisation (AMCO) has on Wednesday called upon all civil society organizations in Manipur to play a major role in bringing a peaceful society and appealed to all ethnic communities to shun violence and enmity.

AMCO organized a one-day discussion on finding a way out of the unstable situation in the state and building a peaceful and harmonious society at Manipur Baptist Church (MBC), Chingmeirong in Imphal. Representatives of All Manipur Clubs’ Organisation (AMUCO) and United Committee Manipur (UCM) also attended the discussion.

Giving the welcome address, AMCO president Rev S Prim Vaiphei noted: “All the communities in the state have co-existed peacefully with love and understanding since very long time and these different communities have also played their respective roles in safeguarding the state.”

The instability prevailing now in Manipur could be addressed only when these communities work for a common interest by keeping back self-interest, he suggested.

Vaiphei also urged all civil society organizations in the state to maintain a balanced outlook and hold consultations among themselves regularly in order to shape the society.

AMUCO president KT Rahaman also took part at the discussion during which he accused the Government of India of fomenting hostility and discord among different ethnic communities in Manipur.

He was of the view that election of two MPs by dividing as ‘Outer Manipur and Inner Manipur’ was one of the key factors that could contribute in splitting the state.

Rahaman said the Government had failed to take up developmental activities evenly in the state and it was instead turning against the ethnic communities to break them up, letting them to raise different demands for each community.

AMCO core member Rev Dr Konghar said that it was a wrong policy of the Government to target people instead of dealing firmly with the prevalent conflict in the state.

Eating together and discussing together among all the community members on regular basis would bring peace in Manipur is one of the important objectives of AMCO, Konghar asserted.

He said such discussion would be held in future too and the United Naga Council and Kuki civil society organizations would be invited next.

UCM president Y Nabachandra said there was no major clash or disagreement among the different communities in Manipur till date, but that some minor incidents had been witnessed which were incited by some people working for their own reasons.

Nabachandra further observed that the path of love, peace and understanding among all the communities in Manipur would be found only when all the NGOs work together to hit upon the root cause of misunderstanding among these communities.

Giving the keynote address, Rev Timothy Phaomei, Rongmei Naga Baptist Association (RNBA), core member, AMCO and director, Love Manipur said that AMCO is an organization composed of all Christian denominations from all sections of the society in Manipur, including the Meiteis, the Kukis, the Nagas, the Nepalis and the Mayangs (people from mainland India).

It is an organization that represents all the Christians in Manipur with an intention to actively contribute to the common good of “our society” by sowing Christian values of love, forgiveness, justice, brotherhood and peace, he said.

“The AMCO is purely religious and non-partisan organization with no affiliation to any political party, ideology or community.”

“Our means of attaining our ends/goals is through non-violent peaceful means (ahimsa) which employs negotiation, dialogue, forgiveness and reconciliation which is inspired by Christian understanding of inviolable human dignity that comes from the love of God,” Rev Timothy Phaomei said.

The security of a society, within and without, cannot be built on bogus values and attitudes such as racial or ethnic superiority, economic superiority, or on Darwinian Theory of ‘survival of the fittest,’ he added.

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